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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Missile Defense Offers Get Poor Reviews in Moscow

U.S. proposals for cooperation on missile defense fall short of "real cooperation" and would not prompt Moscow to abandon plans to suspend implementation of a key European arms treaty, Leonid Slutsky, deputy head of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee, said Friday.

Meanwhile, national news agencies quoted an unidentified Foreign Ministry official as making a sharper statement suggesting that the United States had gone back on its word -- the latest salvo in a dispute that has deepened tension between the countries.

Slutsky said the U.S. proposals indicated some movement toward Russia but also "substitute external signs of preparedness to compromise for real cooperation," Itar-Tass reported.

Russia has sharply opposed U.S. plans to deploy missile defense installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. The United States says the system would counter a potential Iranian threat, but Moscow says it believes the real aim is to weaken Russia's nuclear deterrent.

Slutsky said the proposals would not change Russia's plans to suspend participation in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty on Dec. 12 -- a move Moscow says is aimed at convincing the NATO nations to ratify an updated version of the pact that it says is less discriminatory toward Russia.

"We will not go back and forth on this moratorium," Itar-Tass quoted him as saying.

The formal U.S. proposals differed from those aired by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Moscow last month, Itar-Tass and Interfax quoted an unnamed Foreign Ministry official as saying. The Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

The remarks could be aimed to stake out a tough position before expected discussions between Rice and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday in the United States.

AP, Reuters