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Diplomat Calls U.S. Missile Defense Offer Insufficient

A senior Russian diplomat said Washington's latest moves aimed at easing Moscow's concern about NATO's U.S.-led missile defense plans are insufficient.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov's statement followed an exchange of letters by Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin that mentioned the missile defense dispute, a longtime irritant in bilateral ties. Russian media said Obama offered to provide Russia with more information about the missile defense plans.

The Kremlin has dismissed U.S. assurances that the shield is a defense against Iranian missiles and sought legally binding guarantees that it wouldn't be aimed against Russia.

Ryabkov told Voice of Russia radio on Monday that the latest U.S. proposals on missile defense are "concrete" and "serious," but Moscow still sees them as insufficient and wants more specific technical guarantees.

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