Shield Talks Planned for This Week

WASHINGTON -- The United States and Russia will hold senior-level talks about missile defense in Budapest on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said.

"The United States will continue to discuss its ideas and proposals for U.S.-Russia missile defense cooperation as well as radar cooperation to jointly monitor ballistic missile threats launched out of the Middle East," the department said in a statement Saturday.

The U.S. delegation will be led by John Rood, the acting undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. Russia's delegation will be led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak.

Washington submitted a package of documents to Moscow last month setting out compromise proposals that it said were designed to soothe Russian concerns that the planned U.S. missile defense shield threatens its national security.

Meanwhile, the Rocket Forces on Saturday test-fired an intercontinental missile with new equipment able to evade anti-missile shields, RIA-Novosti reported.

The RS-12M Topol ballistic missile was successfully launched from the Kapustin Yar firing range in southern Russia, Rocket Forces spokesman Alexander Vovk told RIA-Novosti.

He said the test was part of a trial of unspecified new equipment that could pass through anti-missile shields.