|5-6||National Missile Defense System and ABM Treaty/US-Russian Cooperation|
QUESTION: Can you share with us any details on the New York Times story stating that the US has offered to help Russia fix one of its big radar installations in exchange for amending the ABM Treaty?
MR. FOLEY: The White House may have commented on this in the last day or so. I'm not sure. What I can tell you is that, as you're aware, the United States is committed to the development of a limited National Missile Defense System, one designed primarily to counter the threat posed by the missile systems of rogue states. This is a threat that we believe that Russia shares with us, that we have in common.
There has been no decision to proceed with the deployment. That decision will be made by the President by next summer, as you know.
We have made clear to Russia that we want to work cooperatively on this issue, and both in terms of the missile defense issue and in terms of the ABM Treaty, which we've acknowledged would need to be modified to accommodate deployment of a limited National Missile Defense System. We have also continued our discussions with the Russians on future strategic arms limitations, through the START III process.
We believe that a cooperative approach will enhance both nations' security, because each faces threats from rogue states, as I indicated. And in that respect, we believe that Russia should - or could, rather - receive tangible benefits from development of a US limited National Missile Defense.
In recent discussions regarding our National Missile Defense program and its implication for the ABM Treaty, we have put forward a number of ideas for discussion, relating to practical US-Russian cooperation in the area of missile defense and the ABM Treaty. Now, these discussions are continuing, and we'll be considering next steps as the process unfolds. This is at a very early stage in discussing cooperative aspects of national missile defense with the Russians. But, again, we believe that Russia could receive tangible benefits and we also think it's important to promote transparency with the Russians about the mission capabilities and benefits of the US National Missile Defense cooperation.
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