Russia Report

By Jordana Mishory / March 31, 2011 at 9:27 PM

Russia and the United States are “moving forward” in their cooperation on missile defense despite sharing similar concerns, a senior Pentagon official told a House panel today.

“We see strong Russian leadership interest in moving forward with missile defense cooperation with the United States and NATO as reflected in presidential and prime ministerial statements,” said Bradley Roberts, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy. He noted that there is also “supporting activities in the various ministries” that coincides with this senior-level commitment.

Roberts stated that both sides are concerned about sharing classified information with one another, and that Russia is also concerned about some of its technology. He did not elaborate.

Roberts’ comment came during a House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee hearing on the missile defense budget request. The subcommittee’s ranking member, Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), asked Roberts how things were progressing with America's former Cold War adversary.

“The short answer would be that we perceive that they are approaching this cooperative effort in a constructive, pragmatic way and with some realistic expectations about what we might be able to accomplish,” Roberts said, noting, however, that most of the details should be provided in a different venue because the "state of discussions is sensitive."