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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Agrees to Missile Defense Talks

WASHINGTON -- The United States has agreed for U.S. and Russian defense and foreign ministers to meet in an attempt to allay Russian concerns about U.S. missile defense plans in Eastern Europe, a senior U.S. official said Friday.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Dan Fried said there had been talk of holding so-called 2+2 talks among the four ministers in September or early in the fall, but no date had been set.

Washington has angered Russia and unsettled some European allies with a plan to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar installation in the Czech Republic from 2012 to help shield Europe from a possible missile attack by Iran or North Korea.

Russia has yet to be persuaded by U.S. arguments that the system is no threat to its nuclear deterrent and has so far rebuffed U.S. invitations to cooperate on the system.

Fried said he was hopeful that over time Russian concerns could be addressed and said one venue for doing so could be talks among the defense and foreign ministers. Fried said U.S. and Russian national security advisers might also be included.