The United States has refused Russian offers to discuss Washington's missile
defence programme, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov was quoted as
saying on Sunday, calling the initiative "very dangerous".
Russian President Vladimir Putin last month warned Romania and Poland that they
could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they are hosting
elements of the missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security.
Addressing a forum in Singapore, Antonov said the U.S.-backed project was
creating problems for both Russia and China, complaining that Moscow had many
times called on the United States to rethink its plans, the Interfax news agency
"We have offered them cooperation many times and found ways we could solve the
situation ... But we did not manage to convince them to continue dialogue on
this issue. As I understand it, now is not the best time for them to hold
consultations," Antonov said.
He did not elaborate. The United States is in the middle of a presidential
election campaign ahead of a Nov. 8 vote.
The U.S. military -- which says the shield is needed to protect the United
States and European allies from Iran, not threaten Russia -- switched on the
Romanian part of the shield last month. Work is going ahead on another part of
the shield, in Poland.
"It is very dangerous when one country secures its own security at the expense
of other countries' security," Antonov was quoted as saying by Interfax.