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Russia: Rice Says U.S. Seeks New Strategic Framework

Washington, 3 August 2001 (RFE/RL) -- President George W. Bush's national security adviser, Condoleeza Rice, says the United States is trying to agree a new strategic framework with Russia that could include joint military exercises and the sharing of missile technology. Rice said in an interview with the Associated Press that the U.S. offer is contingent on Russia's willingness to stop assisting Iran and North Korea with military technology.

The issue is expected to be raised when a delegation of Russian military experts visits Washington next week (6-7 August).

The consultations will be the first in a series agreed by Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in which U.S. plans for a missile defense system will be discussed in connection with possible large cuts the Kremlin is seeking in offensive nuclear weapons held by both countries.

Putin has been resisting U.S. proposals to scrap or modify the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to allow the U.S. missile defense system.