(Itar-Tass) - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates will arrive in Moscow on Monday to hold two-on-two talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence
Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, an official at the Russian Defence Ministry said.
Presidents of Russia and the United States Vladimir Putin and George Bush confirmed a new two-on-two meeting is expedient in their latest telephone conversation.
The Russian-US consultations will take place at a residence of the Russian Foreign Ministry on March 18.
"High on the agenda will be missile defence, the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty and the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, the fight against terrorism, and nuclear problems in Iran and North
Korea," the official said.
"Any agreements on the key problems of strategic stability will be possible, if the US partners bring to Moscow new proposals taking into account Russia's concerns, mainly those on the missile defence system," he said.
"Otherwise the talks will come down to expressing each party's well known positions. We offer to conduct joint assessment and monitoring of missile threats with the use of the Gabala radar and other Russian radar
systems to prevent missile attacks as an alternative to the deployment of the US missile defence components in Poland the Czech Republic. The US urges us to use these radar systems in addition to the deployment of a third missile defence deployment site In Europe," the official said.
"The same concerns the issue on what regime will change the START I Treaty. We oppose the US version of a new document that envisages no clear-cut and law-binding obligations to reduce and limit the number of carriers and warheads, while inspection and control measures are preserved," he said.
Russia insists the Adapted CFE Treaty should be ratified by all NATO states without exception.
"We reiterated that Russia will no longer comply with discriminatory flank restrictions that had been used only against it," the official said. Meanwhile, a high-ranking source at the Russian Foreign Ministry told
Itar-Tass Americans say that they "will bring what the talks were about last October." He noted that American partners actually brought for the October meeting "proposals on confidence-building measures, providing for the presence of Russian officers at US missile defence facilities in Eastern Europe, that a radar in the Czech Republic would be installed in such a way that it would not be directed against Russia and that
interceptors in Poland would not be loaded into silos".
"This is not a radical solution of the problem and not a creation of a truly collective system of monitoring risks," the source said. "These are just measures of transparency and confidence, but we supported them in
principle," the source told Itar-Tass.
"Certainly this does not resolve the problem, which we offer to resolve establishing truly allied relations in the monitoring of missile threats all over the world," the source added.