SYDNEY, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and the United States will continue looking for a solution to the ongoing dispute on U.S. plans to deploy missile defense elements in Central Europe, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
The Russian leader met with President George W. Bush in Sydney, in advance of a summit of the 21 leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation countries, to be held over the weekend.
"We discussed all problems on the bilateral agenda, and the most important international issues, primarily the problem of missile defense," the Russian president said after the meeting at the Sydney Harbor Marriott Hotel.
"We noted that our experts should hold another meeting in the near future and travel to Azerbaijan to visit the Gabala radar base," he said.
High-ranking diplomats from Russia and the United States will meet in Paris on Monday to discuss U.S. plans to deploy interceptor missiles in north Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. The plans have angered Russia, which considers them a threat to its national security.
At the G8 summit in Germany in May, Vladimir Putin proposed a compromise solution, offering the U.S. the use of the Gabala radar in Azerbaijan. The radar, located near the town of Minchegaur, 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the capital Baku, was leased to Russia for 10 years in 2002.
The radar has been operational since early 1985. With a range of 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles), it is the most powerful in the region and can detect any missile launches in Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa.