Russia says ‘progress absent’ in U.S. missile shield talks

Russia complained on Tuesday of a lack of progress in its talks with NATO on a new U.S. missile defense shield for Europe.

The comments come after Romania agreed to host missile interceptors as part of the U.S.-led defense shield. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi signed the agreement in Washington on Tuesday.

“The agreement with Romania on the deployment at the former Air Force base Deveselu of the land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system, as well as the recent announcement of the forthcoming deployment in Turkey of the U.S. AN/TPY-2 radar shows that U.S. anti-missile plans are being implemented swiftly and according to schedule,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“This is happening against the backdrop of the absence of progress in the Russia-NATO and Russia-U.S. dialogues on the topic of the missile shield.”

Washington has scrapped a previous missile shield in 2009 to be based in Poland and the Czech Republic, which had angered Russia.

Moscow has agreed to cooperate on the new plan, but warned it may strengthen its own defenses if it is not made a full partner in the U.S.-led shield.

The U.S. State Department said its missile defense site in Romania will occupy approximately 175 hectares when the deployment is completed by 2015.

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