Russia remains reluctant to partner with the United States on missile defense, Interfax reported Friday (see GSN, Jan. 22).
"As far as missile defense issues are concerned, we have told the U.S. and NATO that it is necessary to start everything from scratch -- to jointly analyze the origin and types of missile proliferation risks and threats," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters.
"We are not ready to simply trust someone else's analysis and proposals to counter such threats on the basis of this analysis," Lavrov said. "But they have simply told us: these are the systems we plan to develop, and you will have to contribute your radars. This is not the kind of approach we are ready to support."
Both the Bush and Obama administrations have tried to involve Moscow in efforts to prepare a European missile shield that would largely be aimed to countering Iranian weapons. The Kremlin loudly objected to the Bush administration plan -- which involved fielding 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar installation in the Czech Republic -- and has appeared to question a revamped initiative that would use land- and sea-based versions of the Standard Missile 3 system.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have requested a shared assessment of missile proliferation threats, Lavrov noted.
"We are ready for this work. But the result of this joint analysis is unclear to me," he said. "We will have to take a look at the situation surrounding all missile proliferation risks, not only those posed by Iran" (Interfax/Kiev Post, Jan. 22).