US and Russia Discuss Sore Points / News / News agency Inforos
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US and Russia Discuss Sore Points

Yesterday Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Ivanov and US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld met in the city of Fairbanks (Alaska). The official occasion for the meeting was the unveiling of a memorial dedicated to the cooperation of the anti-Hitler coalition countries during the Second World War.

As has later become evident at a joint press-conference of the heads of the defense ministries of Russia and the US, during the meeting talks have been held on important and pressing subjects.

Thus, D. Rumsfeld made the initiative of a joint use of intercontinental ballistic missiles armed with conventional warheads to fight terrorism. According to the Pentagon chief, it would be expedient to install conventional warheads on several inter-continental ballistic missiles instead of nuclear warheads. However, S. Ivanov met this initiative with caution, saying that "Russia has certain misgivings about such plans".

The Russian defense minister views the creation of the US anti-missile defense system (AMD) in Eastern-European countries with caution as well. We should base our attitude toward it on realities, he said. "Speaking of a global strategic AMD system, we believe that creating such a system should be carried out with a maximum degree of transparency and caution, so as not to provoke other countries into creating some means of overcoming such a system", said S. Ivanov.

Commenting on the bilateral cooperation, S. Ivanov pointed out some positive developments. "Work has begun on a Russian-American agreement on information protection in the field of outer space activities", he said. The Russian defense minister also told journalists that both parties had been having regular contacts on issues related to strategic stability. It concerns, first of all, the prospects for signing a Russian-US agreement on cooperation in the field of defense technologies.

Discussions in Alaska also touched on problems related to the situation in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and North Korea. Both the US and Russia expressed concern about Iranian and North-Korean nuclear programs. However, they view differently taking stiff measures against those countries. Thus, ahead of the meeting with his US opposite number, the Russian defense minister had spoken against imposing sanctions against Iran, calling it an untimely measure.
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