SANTIAGO, Chile –
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, seen here, left Santiago late Friday for Washington after wrapping up her short visits to Brazil and Chile(AFP/raul bravo)
Theangered Russia, which has seen it as a Western provocation at its doorstep. ‘s interest prompted Rice and to make last-minute plans to visit Russia next week.
Rice said she would not go so far as to say that Russia’s opposition to the plan had diminished, but she said the Russians have recently expressed enough interest in certain aspects of the latest U.S. proposal that it was worth setting up a face-to-face meeting.
“In private we’ve had good discussions with the Russians,” Rice said.
Speaking to reporters during a Latin American trip, the top U.S. diplomat declined to say which aspects of the program would be the focus of the. Gates and Rice went to Moscow last fall to present several ideas intended to encourage Russian cooperation and make the program easier for the Kremlin to accept.
They got a chilly reception fromand senior Russian officials at the time, but lower-level officials have been meeting since then and have apparently made some progress.