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Russia-NATO Chicago summit in jeopardy over missile defense rifts - newspaper

Missile Defense LaunchMOSCOW. Oct 11 (Interfax) - Rifts over missile defense between Moscow and Washington could undermine plans to hold a Russia-NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012, the daily Kommersant writes on Tuesday. The Russian Foreign Ministry says, "there is no matter in favor of the plans to hold a Russia-NATO summit next year," it said.

"Russia's participation in it is not and cannot be seen as a predetermined fact. But if results are achieved in the talks on missile defense by this time, we will participate. The final decision will be made by the next president," a Russian diplomat told the newspaper. The Chicago summit is to be held in the second half of May, when a new Russian president will have been inaugurated, Kommersant writes.

Kommersant's sources in the Russian Foreign Ministry claimed no decisions are likely on missile defense during President Dmitry Medvedev's talks with U.S. President Barack Obama at an APEC summit in Hawaii in November. Meanwhile, a draft of a Russian-American joint statement on missile defense, available to Kommersant, which was not adopted at the G8 summit in Deauville in May, says that Russian and American diplomats have a number of priority problems to deal with. Among them are "guarantees that the missile shield in Europe will not have a negative impact on the strategic deterrence forces' ability to contribute to strategic stability, an assessment of whether the missile systems match the declared goal, the concept and architecture of the European missile shield and measures to build trust and transparency in missile defense" the newspaper says.

But Obama refused to sign the negotiated text at the last moment in Deauville, it says. The reasons for not signing it are not clear to this moment. Moscow thinks the Pentagon and the CIA had talked the president out of that, according to Kommersant.

The United States has not lost the hope for forging an agreement, however, and Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs Ellen Tauscher flew to Moscow on Monday evening to discuss missile defense until Friday, the Kommersant writes.

Russia, Nuclear Issues, Missile Defense - Russian News - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

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