MOSCOW, June 5 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
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,
"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.
(Reporting by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn and)