Top of the Agenda: Russia-U.S. Talks

Published on CFR Council on Foreign Relations, October 12, 2007.

Meetings focused on arms control open today in Moscow between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Russian leaders. The New York Times says lingering disagreements over U.S. missile defense plans could derail negotiations at a time of political touchiness between the countries.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signaled he would continue to press against U.S. plans (BBC) to install radar and missile interceptors in the Czech Republic and Poland. Russia says the system poses a threat to Russian security and recommended an alternative radar system based in Azerbaijan. Putin also threatened to withdraw Russia (AFP) from the Soviet-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty that limits Russian and U.S. medium- and short-range missiles. A Backgrounder outlines Russia’s concerns over regional arms control measures.

Today’s talks also broached the subject of Iran’s push to develop its nuclear capabilities, and Rice insisted that Tehran has a history of “obfuscation” and “lying” (AP) about its nuclear intentions …

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