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Moscow still seeking dialogue with U.S. on missile defense

RIA Novosti

29/08/2008 21:38 MOSCOW, August 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is seeking to continue dialogue with the U.S. on issues relating to a new strategic arms treaty and missile defense, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Friday.

"We are still seeking a meaningful dialogue with the United States. Firstly, arrangements to replace the strategic offensive arms treaty, which expires next year," Andrei Nesterenko said.

He added Russia was also ready to continue contacts on other strategic issues, including missile defense.

Nesterenko said, however, that "words must be backed up by action" and "further talks must be concrete to allay Russia's concerns."

He also said that U.S.-Russian negotiations relating to arms control have been discussed for several decades now and the legacy should not be put at risk by "the current political situation" since "very serious issues are on our arms reduction agenda."

Russia has repeatedly voiced its concern over the planned U.S. missile shield in Central Europe saying it jeopardizes the country's national security.

Last Thursday the U.S. and Poland signed a formal agreement on the deployment of 10 interceptor missiles on Polish soil, which followed the signing on July 8 by the U.S. and Czech foreign ministries to station a U.S. radar in the Czech Republic.

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