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US, Romania Move Forward on Missile Defense

U.S. and Romanian officials are working out details of a proposal to place interceptors in Romania as part of a U.S. anti-missile shield in Europe.

The U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, Ellen Tauscher, began talks with Romanian officials in Bucharest late Thursday.

The officials say they are working on details to place interceptor missiles in Romania.

U.S. President Barack Obama's missile defense plan revises former President George W. Bush's proposal to place interceptor missiles and radar in Poland and the Czech Republic. Both plans have been criticized by Russia.

The U.S. missile deployment in Romania is not expected to become operational for about five years.

The Obama administration's plan would also place some interceptor missiles on U.S. ships around Europe and the Persian Gulf.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates repeated the administration's stance on the missile shield in congressional testimony Thursday, saying the plans are not a threat to Russia but "designed to intercept a limited number of ballistic missiles launched by a country such as Iran or North Korea."

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.