Russian, U.S. officials to hold missile shield talks in Paris
( RIA Novosti ) - High-ranking diplomats from Russia and the United States will meet in Paris Monday to discuss U.S. plans to deploy missile defense elements in Central Europe, a Russian Foreign Ministry source said.
The diplomat told RIA Novosti Thursday: "At the meeting, the Russian side will be represented by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak, and the U.S. side by Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation John Rood."
Rood will also take part in U.S.-Poland talks on the missile shield plans in Warsaw, which will begin Thursday.
Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Robert Szaniawski said the meeting would be of "particular importance, as it will concern the conditions under which the agreement could be signed, and details of mutual obligations."
If the talks between Warsaw and Washington are successful, the U.S. is planning to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland by 2013, with the first missile complex going on combat duty as early as 2011. The U.S. also has plans to deploy a radar system in the Czech Republic
The U.S. missile shield plans have angered Russia, which considers them a threat to its national security.
In July, Polish President Lech Kaczynski said after a meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush that the plans would go ahead. However, Poland has not yet given its formal agreement, and has pressed for concessions on issues including related military contracts. The missile defense plans are highly unpopular among both the Czech and Polish opposition parties, and the countries' populations.