MOSCOW, October 3 (Itar-Tass) —Russia and the West undertake latest efforts in the attempt to find a compromise in the anti-missile problem, which complicates the bilateral relations. The Kommersant reports that the USA suggested to the RF signing an agreement on cooperation in defence technologies, and on organising two centres not only to analyse rocket launches in third countries, but to make join decisions on how to react to realistic rocket threat.
Moscow, the newspaper writes, has taken the suggestions sceptically. The American initiatives emerged at the moment, where the Russian side may have lost hopes to find a compromise in anti-missile defence. A high ranking source of the Kommersant in the Kremlin replied to the question, whether there is a chance to agree on this problem, by saying that such chances had been exhausted. “There are no chances to agree,” the Kremlin’s official said. “We have suggested uniting the potentials and organising a joint anti-missile system. They suggested exchange of data. We do not agree with it. Now we face either organisation of our own anti-missile system, or gaining the nuclear potential.”
However, despite this, Russian negotiators assure they would be trying to the last moment to reach an agreement. “The dialogue with the USA on anti-missile defence faces major difficulties. The positions of the sides contain a set of elements, which are tough to be adjusted,” Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said. He confirmed having received the American suggestions on organisation of joint centres and on agreement in defence technologies, and added it is too early to speak about Moscow’s acceptance of those. “Cooperation matters are on the agenda of both the foreign ministry and of military authorities. The suggestions on organisation of joint centres are here, and we appreciate the effort of the USA,” Ryabkov said. “However, it is impossible to cooperate where there is now base.”
As he said, in order to start cooperation, there should be legal guarantees that the American anti-missile systems are not against Russia’s strategic nuclear forces, which the US administration is not ready to provide as yet. As for the agreement on cooperation in defence technologies, it is far to reach a final state, the deputy minister said.
Russia’s envoy at NATO Dmitry Rogozin also says about the necessity to continue the negotiations. “The topic has not expired, and for as long as there is a chance, we shall try to reach an agreement. Until NATO crosses the no-return point, we shall continue negotiations with our partners,” Rogozin told the newspaper. However, the latest suggestions made by the American side, do not inspire the envoy much. “I had a feeling that the USA is interested in the RF’s groundwork, where we still keep progress and where we are ahead of them,” he commented on Washington’s idea to sign an agreement on defence technologies. “They would not share with us what is of interest to us, but they want to get what they are interested in. But we are for parity.”