( AFP ) - Russian concerns about US plans to base missile defences in eastern Europe are being heard by Washington, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.
"I talked about this with President Bush on the phone the other day," Putin told journalists after a Kremlin meeting with visiting Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.
"It seems that our concerns are being listened to" in Washington, he said.
The Russian leader recalled that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates had made "certain offers" on the missile defence plan when they visited Moscow last month.
US officials have said those offers included delaying activation of the system until Washington and Moscow agreed on "definitive proof" of missile threats, as well as posting Russian liaison officers at the US missile sites.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said earlier Thursday that Moscow had received Washington's missile defense proposals in writing and was studying them.
"The American side late yesterday evening finally handed to Russia written proposals on missile defence. We are studying them," ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin was quoted by news agencies as saying.
Washington's plans to place missile defence facilities in the Czech Republic and Poland, countries once dominated by Moscow, have strained US-Russian ties.
Russia has proposed that the United States use a Russian-controlled radar in ex-Soviet state of Azerbaijan instead of the one it plans to set up in the Czech Republic.
Washington has not excluded a role for the Azerbaijan facility but has said it would not replace that planned for the Czech Republic.
Washington insists that its plans to place a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptors in Poland are not aimed against Russia but at "rogue states" such as Iran.
Russia agrees that Iran may pose a threat in the future but does not share the US assessment that it is close to possessing long-range missiles or nuclear warheads.