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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lavrov Positive About Talks with U.S.

Itar-TassPutin addressing the government meeting during which Lavrov discussed anti-missile defense talks on Monday.
U.S.-Russian consultations on Washington's plans to deploy elements of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe should produce initial results sometime in October, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a weekly meeting between President Vladimir Putin and government ministers.

Lavrov said three or four rounds of consultations would be held from July to October on the issue, which remains a bone of contention in bilateral relations, Interfax reported. The country's top diplomat said the first round was being held in Washington on Monday.

"We believe that the result will be encouraging, at least with regard to continuing contacts and clarifying the positions," Lavrov was quoted by Interfax as saying.

He also told Putin that Russia's proposals concerning missile defense had generated interest among members of the NATO-Russia Council, Interfax said. He did not specify to which proposals he was referring.

Putin has suggested that a Soviet-built radar base Russia leases in Azerbaijan be adapted for the U.S. system instead of the site planned for the Czech Republic. Russia opposes U.S. plans for the Czech Republic station and the deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland.

While opposed to Washington's plans for a global anti-missile shield, however, Russian military officials and diplomats have proposed cooperation between Russia and NATO on regional anti-missile systems.

Putin responded to Lavrov's briefing by suggesting that both the Foreign and Defense ministries make more active use of the NATO-Russia Council in their joint efforts to gain acceptance of Russia's position on missile defense.