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|Wednesday, August 01, 2001, updated at 10:55(GMT+8)|
No Compromise With US on ABM Treaty: Russian Defence MinisterMoscow is not prepared to make any concessions on the Anti-Ballistic Missile accord which bars Washington from building a missile defense shield, Russian Defense minister Sergey Ivanov said Tuesday.
Reports in the Russian press last week that Russia was ready to strike a deal with the United States to amend the cornerstone 1972 ABM agreement which both countries signed in 1972 "are not in the least justified," Ivanov told the Interfax news agency.
"There exists no agreement between Russia and the United States on anti-missile defense or strategic offensive weapons, since there haven't been any negotiations to speak of so far," Ivanov said.
"We are waiting for the United States to tell us what it is they have in mind when they talk about this limited missile defense shield they plan to build," he added.
The United States intends to build a national missile defense system (NMD), at odds with the ABM Treaty, which it says would protect it from attacks from so-called "rogue states" , but would not be able to stop Russian missiles.
US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was in Moscow last week in a bid to impress on Russia the need to move beyond the ABM agreement.
Moscow declared on Friday that Rice had offered no new or convincing arguments in favor of missile defense and that Russia remained strictly opposed to the idea.
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