General Yury Baluyevsky (file) (AFP)
June 21, 2007 - Russia's top general says the United States has already made up its mind to set up a missile-defense system in Central Europe and "will turn down" a Russian offer to share a radar station in Azerbaijan.
"In my view ... the question of placing elements of the missile-defense system in Europe has already been decided by Washington," the chief of Russia's general staff, General Yury Baluyevsky, told a news conference. "The initiative put forward by Russia will not receive a positive response from the current U.S. administration."
President Vladimir Putin suggested earlier this month that a U.S. missile-defense system could use a radar station in Azerbaijan.
The offer came amid a row over U.S. plans -- opposed by Moscow -- to site parts of the system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Russia says the missile shield is a threat to its national security and has warned it could respond by aiming its nuclear missiles at European targets.
Putin and U.S. President George W. Bush are expected to discuss the issue early next month when they meet in the United States.