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Russia aims to limit U.S. missile defense

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

MOSCOW -- Russia hopes to negotiate agreements that would put limits on the U.S. missile defense program, a senior general said in an interview released Monday.

The statement by Col. Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky is the first official indication that Russia is trying to get restrictions on the U.S. missile shield, although Washington has shown no willingness to bend.

"In our opinion, these agreements must put certain restrictions on the missile defense system the United States intends to build," said Baluyevsky, the first deputy chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, who led the Russian delegation to arms talks in Washington last week. The comments were made in an interview with the Interfax-Military News Agency released Monday.

There was no immediate comment from Washington. But U.S. officials have said repeatedly they would go ahead with the system despite Russian objections.

Analysts said Russia is unlikely to win concessions.

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