DATE=6/8/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA MISSILES (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-263305 BYLINE=JIM RANDLE DATELINE=PENTAGON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Defense Secretary William Cohen hopes to learn more about a new missile defense plan for Russia and Europe at Friday's meeting with Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev. Pentagon officials call the Russian proposal "interesting," but say it's unlikely to take the place of a U-S missile defense system strongly criticized by Russia and some U-S allies. V- O-A's Jim Randle reports. TEXT: Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to work with NATO and Europe to develop an anti-missile defense system. The Russian President described the plan in broad terms, and Pentagon spokesman Craig Quigley says Friday's meeting in Brussels between defense ministers from Russia and the United States is a chance to learn more. /// Quigley Act /// Let's hear some more detail as to what the Russian proposal is. More specifics, more technical details, and let's take a listen to what they have in mind. I think most folks here (at the Pentagon) view that as a compliment to, rather than a substitute for the National Missile Defense system that we have in mind for the United States. /// End Act /// Moscow opposes an American plan to deploy a limited national missile defense system, or N-M-D, in Alaska. The "N-M-D" would have a small number of interceptor missiles designed to shoot down warheads launched by "rogue states" such as North Korea, Iraq, or Iran. A key test of the U-S system is set for early July. President Clinton says he will use that information to decide to build or shelve the expensive, controversial program. Moscow says the U-S plan threatens Russia because it could be expanded to defeat a Russian missile attack, making Russia's nuclear deterrent useless. Washington says the system could handle a few dozen simple missiles launched by a rogue state -- not the thousands of sophisticated weapons in Moscow's arsenal. But President Putin says Moscow will pull out of all nuclear arms agreements if Washington proceeds with missile defenses. Under such agreements, the two sides have removed thousands of warheads from their arsenals, something arms control advocates say makes war less likely. Little progress was made on the missile defense issue at the Moscow summit last week, But U-S officials say Russia at least agreed that there is a real and growing threat from rogue states as weapons of mass destruction, and the missiles to carry them, become more common. (Signed) NEB/JR/JP 08-Jun-2000 16:17 PM EDT (08-Jun-2000 2017 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .