By RIA Novosti
Moscow : Russian and US diplomats and military experts are set to discuss US plans to deploy a missile shield in Europe and Moscow's alternative proposals.
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak heads the Russian delegation at the two-day consultations starting Monday.
The US has announced plans to deploy the third site of its global missile defence system – the first two being in Alaska and California – ostensibly to fend off hypothetical attacks from Iran – in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Moscow has strongly opposed the move calling it a threat to national security, and has repeatedly stated that the US missile shield could be used to undermine its military capability.
As an alternative, Russia has proposed that the US use its Gabala radar in Azerbaijan and its new radar in south Russia's Krasnodar territory.
"Russia's proposals are an alternative, not an addition, to US plans to deploy elements of its missile defence system in Europe," Russian foreign ministry's spokesperson Mikhail Kamynin reiterated in comments posted on the ministry's website Sunday.
Meanwhile, Washington insists it will go ahead with its European shield plans while taking the Russian offer into consideration.
Kamynin said Sunday that Moscow would not make any concessions at the talks in US capital and its alternative proposals would only be effective if Washington abandoned its missile shield initiatives, including the deployment of radar and interceptors in Europe, and offensive weapons in space.
In July, the US Senate passed an amendment to the 2008 defence budget approving the deployment of a global missile shield as part of US state policy.