Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned on Tuesday that Moscow will pursue plans for new weapons to counter the US missile defense system, and added that the US plans are holding up a new nuclear disarmament treaty.
In response, the US State Department, in a statement issued the same day, rejected Moscow's concerns, saying the two issues were completely separate and discussions would continue separately.
Russia and the US have still not drafted a successor to the Cold War-era Start I treaty, which expired on December 5.
Russia believes any US missile shield is a threat — and one it has now vowed to counter.
Analysts say Moscow wants a clause in the new treaty that would limit the scale of any US defense shield, BBC reported late on Tuesday.
The US has shelved plans for missile defense stations in Central Europe but still intends to use a sea-based system.
The State Department statement added that Washington and Moscow's joint position recognizing the inter-relationship between defensive and offensive weapons systems had not changed.