Defense Secretary Robert Gates was dispatched to Russia on Monday to smooth over relations with Vladimir Putin, who is upset over U.S. plans to locate missile defense sites in Europe. Russia has repeatedly voiced its opposition to such plans, and Monday’s meeting between Gates and his counterpart was no exception.

AP via Guardian:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday urged Russia to drop its opposition to U.S. plans to develop defenses in Europe against long-range nuclear missiles, but the Russians refused to budge.

“We face new threats that require new strategies for deterrence and defense,” Gates said in a prepared statement delivered with Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov seated beside him. “We invite Russia to join our defensive endeavor as a partner.”

Serdyukov, however, made clear that Moscow is opposed.

“The Russian position with respect to this issue remains unchanged,” Serdyukov said.

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