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Russia rejects US missile shield proposal
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Russia has rejected proposals from the United States for cooperation with Washington's plans to establish a missile shield in Central Europe, but has agreed to talk with the incoming administration.

"The proposals that came from the United States are insufficient," Itar-Tass news agency quoted a high-ranking Kremlin official as saying Wednesday.

"We won't give our consent to these proposals, but will talk with the new administration," the official said, referring to the government to be led by President-elect Barack Obama.

Washington announced plans in early 2007 to deploy anti-ballistic missile components in Central Europe, including interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic, to which Moscow objected with warnings of counter measures.

The United States then sent senior officials to Moscow for talks and raised proposals for cooperation concerning the missile shield but no breakthroughs were recorded.

In his first address-of-state to the parliament last Wednesday, President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, a Baltic Sea enclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania in response to the U.S. plans.

Medvedev was expected to meet Obama on the sidelines of the upcoming G-20 summit in Washington later this week, during which the missile shield might be discussed.

"The Bush administration thereby intends to put President-elect Barack Obama in a dead-end situation, to make him bear responsibility for what they invented before he takes office," said the Kremlin official.

The next round of talks on strategic security and missile defense is scheduled to take place in December, the U.S. embassy in Moscow said Wednesday.

(Xinhua News Agency November 13, 2008)

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