April 4, 2007 -- A senior Pentagon official says the United States will go ahead with plans for a missile-defense shield in Central Europe even if Washington fails to allay Russian concerns over the plan.
Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy, said the United States wanted to cooperate with Russia and that he was still "very hopeful" the two would reach an understanding.
But he said if talks failed, the United States would not allow Russia to "dictate what we do bilaterally with other countries."
Russia has strongly objected to the plan to put a radar system in the Czech Republic and missile interceptors in Poland.
But the United States says the shield would pose no threat to Russia and that it is meant to guard against what it says are potential attacks from "rogue states" such as Iran.