Russia Rips US Missile Defense Offer

White House proposal is still 'unilateral,' says defense minister
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2007 10:00 AM CST
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, left, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov seen at a news conference in Moscow, Friday, Oct. 12, 2007.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – American and Russian plans to collaborate on a missile defense program suffered another blow today as Russia's foreign minister blasted American offers as "a significant rollback" from earlier promises. US proposals amounted to a "unilateral" American effort that would seek help and information from Russia, and no more, the minister said in Washington after meeting with Condoleezza Rice.

Supporters say the system, to be built in Poland and the Czech Republic, could counter the rise of Iran as a nuclear state, but Moscow believes that Washington also hopes to weaken Russia's nuclear deterrent and gain influence in Eastern Europe. Washington continues to rebuff  Vladimir Putin's offer to share a Russian-operated nuclear facility in Azerbaijan.