No Progress on Missile Deal After Rice's Russia Visit

US, Russia no closer on defense system in Eastern Europe, but more polite about it
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2008 2:09 PM CDT
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, second left, listen to a question as their Russian counterparts confer.    (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Moscow talks between top US diplomats and their Russian counterparts haven't edged the two sides any closer to deals on a proposed US missile shield in Eastern Europe and a nuclear-arms reduction treaty, the Financial Times reports. Condoleezza Rice heads home empty-handed, but US-Russia relations at least seem to have thawed a touch after hitting post-Cold War lows.

"When we have differences, we can talk about them in an atmosphere of mutual respect," Rice said. Russia says the missile shield would intrude on its security; the US says it would offer protection from "rogue" nations like Iran. Still, some signs of hope emerged, with both Secretary of State Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates reportedly impressed by president-elect Dmitry Medvedev.