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US diplomat has no comment on missile defense deal

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Acting Undersecretary of State Rose Gottemoeller, one of President Obama's top nuclear weapons negotiators, told Russian media that she had no comment on suspicions that the U.S. would share "secret information" on missile defense with the Russian government.

"I am not going to comment on our diplomatic discussions," Gottemoeller, famous in Russia as the "face" of the START treaty negotiations, said in an interview with the Russian outlet Kommersant Daily. "Our governments are continuing to discuss a mutually acceptable approach to practical missile defense cooperation," she also said.

Update and correction: The State Department released the interview with Gottemoeller on March 28, two days after President Obama's hot-mic conversation on missile defense with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. However, a State Department spokesman has since informed The Examiner that, despite the March 28 date it is given on the State Department website, this interview actually took place before the March 4 Russian presidential elections.

An earlier version of this post, based on the date confusion, erroneously connected the issue Gottemoeller was discussing to comments in a House committee hearing yesterday.

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