DATE=4/29/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA/ARMS CONTROL (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-261834 BYLINE=CHARLES MAYNES DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= INTRO: A senior American official says Russia remains opposed to any negotiations that would modify a key U-S-Soviet arms control agreement. Yet, as Charles Maynes reports from Moscow, leaders of the two nations are certain to discuss the issue further during a June summit in the Russian capital. TEXT: The American ambassador to Russia, James Collins, says Moscow continues to reject U-S- backed amendment proposals for altering the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. "On the other hand," in Collins's words, the Russians "are making it clear they are prepared to discuss the problem of missile threats." The U-S has indicated it wants to alter the existing cold-war era pact to allow it to deploy a missile defense system against new threats that might emerge from so-called "rogue nations." Moscow, however, argues that development of a missile defense shield would shift the balance of nuclear power in Washington's favor and threaten to unravel key U-S-Russian arms control agreements. On Friday, American officials confirmed a draft of amendments to A-B-M had been presented to Moscow. According to Ambassador Collins, the U-S proposals open the door to a wider defense system, but a "very limited one" incapable of neutralizing the Russian nuclear arsenal. However, hardliners in Russia argue that U-S assurances are mere bluff. A top Russian Defense Ministry official, General Leonid Ivashov, said a U-S missile defense shield would be aimed at combating Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles. "The Russian military leadership has no doubts about this," Ivashov was quoted as saying. Nonetheless, despite differences, negotiations between Moscow and Washington will continue. In particular, President Bill Clinton is expected to seek common ground on the issue when he goes to Moscow in early June to meet with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. (Signed) NEB/CM/ALW/PT 29-Apr-2000 09:42 AM EDT (29-Apr-2000 1342 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .