US and Russian talks on the proposed European missile defence shield will continue this week in St Petersburg, Russia, the US Department of State has confirmed.

RIA Novosti reported an official as saying that the talks would take place between Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

Russia has retained its stance towards the planned deployment of US missile defence systems near its borders by favouring a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

NATO, however, wants the system to be based on two independent systems that exchange information and claims the shield would defend Nato members against missiles from North Korea and Iran.