Russian: Missile defense top irritant with US

By the Associated Press | July 12, 2011 | 12:14 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says that missile defense remains the biggest irritant in Russian-American relations.

At an event at the Russian Embassy in Washington on Tuesday, Lavrov said that Russian military planners fear the Obama administration's European missile defense plans could undermine Russian security.

Lavrov said that missile defense will be the top issue in talks with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday. He also expected to discuss Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization. Lavrov said that progress had been made but he expressed some frustration that the process had taken so long.

He said: "We are nearing a moment of truth and it would be very unfortunate if the truth would be negative."