Foreign minister: Russia unhappy with US missile defense proposals

Russia's foreign minister sharply criticized US proposals for cooperation on missile defense in Europe after a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, suggesting in remarks broadcast Tuesday that Washington had withdrawn offers he discussed with Rice last month. Deep disagreements remain despite several rounds of talks aimed to ease the dispute between the Cold War foes over US plans to deploy missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic, which has contributed to severe strains in ties between Moscow and Washington. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said formal proposals the United States submitted last week represent "a significant rollback from what American representatives said" when he met with Rice and the two nation's defense chiefs in Moscow in early October. Speaking in Washington, in remarks broadcast on state-run cable channel Vesti-24, Lavrov suggested the United States is determined to implement its own plans and merely wants Russian help, rather than real cooperation in defining and opposing threats. "If by joint work they mean pursuing unilateral plans to install missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe, and inviting us only to help them and provide information we have, that's not what we have in mind when we propose ... together conducting analyses to determine threats and together discussing measures to neutralize them," he said.