US, Russia discuss missile shield, arms control

Moscow and Washington are no closer to resolving their serious disagreements over missile defenses in Europe, arms control treaties and other major issues, a deputy Russian foreign minister said Monday. Speaking hours after Russian officials met in Moscow with a US delegation, Sergei Ryabkov told reporters the Russian side was satisfied with the current round of talks. "On key moments we didn't succeed in bringing our approaches any closer," Ryabkov said. "But this wasn't unexpected." The United States says its plans for missile shield installations in Poland and the Czech Republic would counter a potential threat from Iran. Russia claims the real aim is to weaken its nuclear deterrent. Russia is already pressuring the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama to scrap the missile defense plan, and has threatened to deploy missiles near the Polish border.