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Russian radar offer to be discussed in U.S. July 30-31

RIA Novosti

24/07/2007 18:40 ZAVIDOVO (northwest Russia), July 24 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian delegation will visit Washington July 30-31 to discuss the Russian president's proposals for the United States on missile defense cooperation in Europe, the foreign minister said Tuesday.

"In line with the Kennebunkport agreements, we have coordinated a timetable to analyze the missile proliferation threat, and talks will take place in Washington July 30-31 as part of the first phase in joint efforts," Sergei Lavrov said.

At informal talks at the Bush family home in Kennebunkport early July, Vladimir Putin proposed to George W. Bush setting up a missile defense data exchange center in Moscow and Brussels, and suggested joint use of a radar being built in southern Russia, in addition to the early warning facility in Gabala in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan.

The proposals came following the U.S. announced plans to place elements of its missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic. They became one of the main points of contention in bilateral relations, bringing them to their lowest point since the Cold War, with Russia initially threatening to point its warheads at Europe.

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