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Moscow hopes U.S. will heed its proposals on arms accords - 1

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Moscow hopes U.S. proposals on missile defense, START-1 and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty will take into account Russian initiatives, Russia's foreign minister said on Friday.
(Adds Lavrov's quote in para 6, details in paras 2, 4-5, 7-8)

MOSCOW, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow hopes U.S. proposals on missile defense, START-1 and the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty will take into account Russian initiatives, Russia's foreign minister said on Friday.

Top Russian and U.S. defense officials and diplomats are meeting in Moscow to discuss a number of global security issues. The talks will focus on Russia's offer for the U.S. to use its radars instead of deploying facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

"We hope the proposals you have brought to Moscow will help establish serious and specific dialogue on all the subjects I have mentioned, whilst taking into account Russian initiatives," Sergei Lavrov said during bilateral consultations on missile defense between Russian and U.S. foreign and defense ministers in Moscow.

Moscow strongly opposes U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Europe, considering them a threat to its national security. Washington has insisted the European missile shield is intended to stave off the threat of missile attack from "rogue states" such as Iran or North Korea.

Lavrov said Russia and the United States had differences in their approaches to global security issues, but reaffirmed that Moscow was willing to achieve progress on the most controversial of these through constructive dialogue.

"We want to bring our positions closer together," the Russian minister said.

In response, the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed optimism about the talks, saying that Washington would work to overcome differences with Russia. She said the two countries faced challenges that were more important than their differences.

The consultations in the so-called "2 plus 2" format will continue through Friday and Saturday.

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