The United States is ready to provide Russia with technical specifics of interceptor missiles of the European missile defense system, Russia’s Kommersant daily said on Monday, citing U.S. sources.
The newspaper said Russian specialists were invited to take part in tests of RIM-161 Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) and visit the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado.
“During the consultations [U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control Ellen] Tauscher said Washington was ready to provide information about the missile’s speed after it uses up all of its fuel. This information, referred to as burnout velocity (VBO) in international documents, helps to determine how to target it,” Kommersant said.
In October, Moscow’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said Russian talks with the United States on missile defense had hit a dead end.
The Kremlin says the U.S. expanding anti-missile system in Europe is a potential threat to Russian nuclear arsenal, while Washington tries to convince Moscow that the system poses no threat to Russia and is needed to protect against missiles that could be fired by countries with smaller arsenals such as Iran.
The missile shield dispute between Russia and the U.S. has undermined efforts to build on improvements in relations between the former Cold War foes and is intensified by Russia’s uncertainty of U.S. policy after the November 2012 presidential elections.