(dpa) - Russia and Poland's foreign ministers were meeting in Moscow for a second round of talks on missile defence Tuesday after a recent push by the United States to win support for its plans to base the system in Eastern Europe.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said there was "a lot to be discussed" ahead of meetings with his Polish counterpart Witold Waszczykowski, citing the intensified international dialogue on missile defence last week at the NATO summit and in talks US President George W Bush.
Despite momentum in winning NATO backing of the US missile shield and sealing an agreement with the Czech Republic to locate a radar there, Bush's offer for compromise was rebuffed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in one-on-one meetings Sunday.
Russia views the US shield, planned to protect against "rogue" states such as Iran, as a menace to its security and nuclear deterrent.
But Putin softened his opposition Sunday saying Russia could participate in "a global missile defence with equal democratic-style access to managing such a system."
If the plans go ahead, Putin told reporters that Russia would "insist that the system ... (functions) with the help of experts that should be present at those sites on a permanent basis."
The proposal to allow Russian monitoring of the missile sites as part of a US package to appease Moscow's concerns has so far been rejected by Czech and Polish officials.
Waszczykowski said earlier that Poland was ready to discuss Russian access to the US base but ruled out allowing Moscow a permanent presence in Poland.