After a frosty start, it seems there has been a slight thaw in the wintry talks between Russia and the US. Despite stating that Washington will not allow Moscow to veto its plans for a missile defence shield in Europe, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sought to play down rumours of a rift.
“Well, of course, Russia and the United States do not completely see eye to eye on the current plans for missile defence deployments,” she said at a press conference. “But I think that to say it threatens the relationship, that we may have a disagreement about an issue like this, is to overstate the case.”
The future status of Kosovo is also an issue for Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. “The United States is convinced that there’s no other way than approving the Ahtissari plan, while Russia is convinced that there is no other way than continuing negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade,” he commented. “And today we openly and truthfully put forth our arguments. But for now, they haven’t helped us to move closer to each other.”
Lavrov and Rice have both rejected suggestions of a renewed cold war between their countries. However, despite the more conciliatory tone there is still no sign that the key differences have been bridged.