DATE=10/26/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-S-RUSSIA MISSILES (L-O) NUMBER=2-255488 BYLINE=DAVID GOLLUST DATELINE=WHITE HOUSE CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The Clinton Administration says it intends to pursue dialogue with Russia on a proposed U-S missile- defense system, despite some tough rhetoric from Moscow about the implications of the program. Correspondent David Gollust has details from the White House. TEXT: Talks opened last week in Moscow on possible amendments to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The amendments are sought by the United States to accommodate a limited missile-defense program. But Russia says it strongly opposes changes in the A- B-M treaty, which it considers a bedrock of the arms- control process. Russia's First-Deputy Defense Minister, Nikolai Mikhailov told reporters Monday that if the United States went ahead with its program, Russia could deploy more offensive weapons to overwhelm the defense system. White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said the Russian official's comments miss the point of the U-S missile defense program. He says it is designed to protect against a small-scale missile attack from so-called rogue states. Mr. Lockhart said the process will take time and no one meeting can resolve the matter. The proposed missile defense program is highly popular in Congress and the Administration says it will decide by next June whether to deploy a network of advance radars and interceptor missiles. Russian officials have expressed concern that a U-S missile defense system -- though nominally aimed against rogue states or accidental missile launches -- could later be upgraded to a comprehensive system that would call into question Russia's nuclear deterrence. It has gotten support on the issue from China, which joined treaty Russia and Belarus last week in presenting a U-N resolution opposing any changes in the original A-B-M. (SIGNED) NEB/DAG/LTD/RAE 26-Oct-1999 12:10 PM EDT (26-Oct-1999 1610 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .