Russia Fumes at US Missile Defense Plan

New York Times (Associated Press)
February 26, 2010

Russia has serious concerns about U.S. plans to deploy missile interceptors in Romania, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

The statement from ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko reflected Moscow’s irritation about the U.S. missile defense plans and signaled tensions in relations with Washington.

Nesterenko said that Russia has been annoyed to learn about the move from the media.

”We are worried that we find out about important decisions regarding the U.S. missile defense in Europe from the media rather than our official counterparts in Washington or Bucharest,” Nesterenko told a briefing. …

… other Russian officials, including the nation’s top military officer, recently said the U.S. missile defense plans threaten Russia and have slowed down negotiations on a successor deal to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

Russia and the U.S. had hoped to reach agreement before START expired on Dec. 5, but differences persisted. Still, Sergei Prikhodko, President Dmitry Medvedev’s foreign policy adviser, said Friday that the Kremlin believes the treaty could be signed in March or April, Russian news agencies reported.