Kremlin reportedly rejects US missile defense offer

Officials: The Americans have presented us with several proposals. These proposals are inadequate.

Medvedev 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Medvedev 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Kremlin has rejected US proposals for missile defense cooperation, calling them inadequate, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday. ITAR-Tass, RIA-Novosti and Interfax cited an unnamed Kremlin official as saying Russia was prepared to work with the United States on questions of European security. But the official said Russia could not accept a new set of proposals last week put forth by US President George W. Bush's administration last week to assuage Kremlin concerns over plans to base parts of a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. "The Americans have presented us with several proposals. These proposals are inadequate; they have nothing new in them," the official was quoted as saying. The Kremlin declined to comment on the report. Previous US proposals involved, among other things, offers to allow Russia to send observers to monitor the missile defense sites. Russian and US officials have not publicly disclosed the contents of the latest proposals. Russia has dismissed US assurances that the defenses are intended to counter a missile threat from Iran, saying they would erode Russia's nuclear deterrent. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking this weekend after meetings with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, called the latest proposals insufficient. Last week, President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russia would base short-range Iskander missiles near Poland if the US went ahead with its missile defense plans.