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Putin, Biden Address Missile Defense in Talks

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden addressed missile defense issues in talks on Thursday, Agence France-Presse reported (see GSN, April 15).

The leaders, during a telephone conversation, spoke about "next steps on missile defense cooperation" and "agreed on the importance of continuing momentum in relations between the United States and Russia," the White House said in a press release.

Washington and NATO have been working to draw Moscow into collaboration on establishing a European missile shield. Russia has long been wary of the intentions of such an effort, and diplomatic efforts on the matter continue (Agence France-Presse/Google News, April 21).

Meanwhile, Moscow on Thursday indicated it was preparing three additional radar installations for identifying enemy missiles, Interfax reported (see GSN, May 19, 2010).

"The Armavir radar station is on the trial run and will soon be put on combat duty," Russian space forces Commander Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said.

"As for the construction works at the Kaliningrad radar station, they are done. The station was started up in December (2010)" and testing is expected in the near future, Ostapenko said.

Assembly of the Irkutsk installation was proceeding as planned, he said. "The foundation has been laid down. We are beginning assembly works" (Interfax, April 21).

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