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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia, U.S. set military cooperation goals for 2008

RIA Novosti

05/12/2007 10:40 WASHINGTON, December 5 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. and Russia have signed a memorandum on bilateral military cooperation and the interoperability of their respective Armed Forces for 2008, a U.S. military source said.

The document was signed at a meeting in Washington by the chief of the Russian General Staff, Gen. Yury Baluyevsky and chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Navy Adm. Michael G. Mullen.

Captain John Kirby, a spokesman for Adm. Mullen, said the talks between the top military officials were "productive," but refused to provide further details, citing the confidential nature of the discussions.

Moscow currently has a number of ongoing disputes with Washington, including U.S. plans to deploy a radar in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland, purportedly to counter a missile threat from Iran, North Korea, and other "rogue" states.

Russia has fiercely opposed U.S. plans to deploy new missile defenses in Central Europe, suggesting instead that Washington use radars on Russian soil to counter possible missile threats.

The two countries have held a series of talks on the issue, but have so far failed to reach a compromise.

The future of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which Western countries consider a cornerstone of European security, is another disputed issue in bilateral relations. President Vladimir Putin signed on November 30 a law to freeze Russia's participation in the CFE treaty. The unilateral CFE moratorium becomes effective at midnight on December 12.

Gen. Baluyevsky's visit to the United States is set to last until December 7. He is due to meet with U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor James F. Jeffrey and Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation John Rood.

He will also visit Kings Bay naval submarine base in southeast Georgia, home to at least eight U.S. ballistic missile submarines.

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