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Russia 'Concern' Over U.S. Missile Defense Talks

U.S. officials insist its primary concern emanates from Iran, whose recent missile tests have seemingly driven home Washington's point.
MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia expressed concern about discussions on missile defense between U.S. officials and non-NATO members, local news agencies reported.

"We feel concerned," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was quoted as saying by RIA news agency when asked about the possible use of a Ukrainian radar station as part of Washington's missile-defense plans.

Shamshur suggested Russia had missed its chance to use information from Ukrainian radars. Russia canceled a post-Soviet radar data sharing deal last year, complaining the installations in Ukraine were outdated.

Interfax Ukraine cited Kyiv's envoy as saying Ukraine has begun talks with the United States on the possibility of Washington using information gathered by its radars.

Washington last week denied it wanted to station U.S. radar systems in Ukraine, after President Barack Obama scrapped a planned missile shield based in central Europe.

But the U.S. State Department said countries such as Ukraine could contribute early warning information.

"This issue is in the process of working discussions. It is still at a beginning stage," Interfax cited the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States, Oleh Shamshur, as saying. He added previous Ukrainian leaders had backed this idea.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry said it had no comment.