The Nation

Feb 18, 2011 2:37 AM by Bea Karnes

Russia, US at odds over missile defense

WASHINGTON (AP) Talks between the U.S. and Russia over a new anti-ballistic missile system for Europe are stuck on a key point, with Moscow demanding to jointly run the system and the U.S. refusing to yield.

Russia is insisting on shared control of the missile defense program with the U.S. and NATO, which President Barack Obama has flatly opposed because it would essentially give Russia responsibility for protecting NATO from nuclear missile threats. The U.S. is offering Russia a more limited role.

After years of opposition, Russia agreed last fall at least to talk about cooperating on the anti-ballistic missile plan for Europe, which the U.S. says may one day be needed if Iran develops nuclear weapons.

But Moscow has refused so far to budge from its demand for joint control.

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