Bush, Russia: mission impossible

Russian and U.S. experts have met in Moscow to discuss America's missile defence plans for Eastern Europe and other sensitive security issues. Russia’s hopes, however, seem to lie in the future.

According to Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the sides have once again proved unable to move forward.

“We are satisfied with the results of the round [of talks] that has taken place, though it was impossible to bring our positions on key points any closer together,” Ryabkov said.

Still, Russian authorities are placing much hope on the new American administration.

Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has said that Barack Obama's position on missile defence “inspires the hope that we will be able to deal with them more constructively in the coming period.”

According to Ryabkov, the sides did agree that a new treaty to replace the current Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty-1 (START-1) should be drafted in 2009.

“We managed to create a base for continuing work next year, working from the premise that we need to draft a legally binding agreement on replacing START-1 by the end of next year,” he said.