Exchange between EIR's William C. Jones and Victoria Nuland at Yesterday's State Department briefing:
EIR: "The Russians, they may be on holiday now but the Defense Ministry has announced theyre going to have major maneuvers at the end of January in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. There is indeed a major military build-up ongoing in Russia, including in terms of their nuclear weapons. Mr. Ryabkov, who was the counterpart in terms of the discussions on nuclear disarmament, has said that or has threatened that Russia may leave the START-III Treaty largely because of the issue of the missile defense program of the United States.
"Are there still discussions ongoing with the Russians to try and come to some kind of an agreement with regard to the missile defense issue, which obviously is the most important issue for them in this whole defense relationship, or are those just kind of at a standstill at this point?"
MS. NULAND: "Well, I dont have a date for you, but I know that as recently as late November, early December, we had discussions again between Acting Under Secretary Rose Gottemoeller and Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov on the missile defense issues. We remain committed to cooperating with Russia on missile defense. We think this can be a win-win for both of us because we think we share the same threats. But its going to require Russia being willing to have a real conversation about how we can work together on this, and thats been difficult.
"So we remain open to working on this, and we remain open to collaboration, both bilaterally and in terms of the NATO-Russia track, but Russia has not been as open to that as wed like them to be."
This was covered RIA Novosti in a wire Jan. 4 titled "U.S. Says Remains Open for Missile Defense Talks with Russia," but without reference to Jones or the question he asked.