Top NATO and Russian military officers on Wednesday may discuss their long-running dispute over the alliance's anti-missile plans, ITAR-Tass reports.
Russian Col.-Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the army general staff chairman, is scheduled to take part in the meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels.
"The participants in the meeting may propose discussing any issue of interest to them, including missile defense," an anonymous Russian armed forces insider told the state news agency.
Moscow officials object to the alliance plan for European missile defense, saying it poses a serious threat to nuclear stability on the continent. Russia is particularly concerned by NATO's blueprint in the coming years to deploy advanced U.S. missile interceptors in Romania and Poland. The Kremlin has demanded a legal guarantee the antimissile systems will never target Russian nuclear weapons.
NATO and the United States have offered political assurances on the matter, but thus far have ruled out providing any kind of binding pledge.
Gerasimov previously said Russia was prepared to continue talks with NATO about its missile shield, and to "work out in the Russia-NATO Council a joint review of framework conditions for possible cooperation on missile defense in Europe."