Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov on Thursday
shrugged off possible cooperation with the United States on its
missile defense system.
"As for possible cooperation in strategic anti-missile defense,
honestly speaking, I see no reasons for that," Ivanov, who served
as defense minister before being promoted, told reporters in the
Ural mountains city of Yekaterinburg, the Interfax news agency
"We believe this strategic anti-missile defense system is
somewhat chimerical, to put it mildly," he was quoted as
He however said US plans to build missile defense sites in
eastern Europe may be discussed during a visit by US Defense
Secretary Robert Gates, who is scheduled to arrive in Moscow next
Ivanov reiterated Moscow's concern over the US missile defense
plans. "We do not understand why this system is necessary in
eastern Europe -- Poland and the Czech Republic," he said.
The United States is negotiating with Poland and the Czech
Republic for the deployment of interceptor missiles and a radar
tracking system in the two countries respectively.
Washington says the system would be able to help most of its
European allies fend off long-range missile attacks, while Moscow
has sharply criticized such plans.
(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2007)