Rice denies new "Cold War" between U.S., Russia


BEIJING, May 15 -- The US Secretary of State has acknowledged that the country's relations with Russia have hit a difficult period. But Condoleezza Rice maintains that tensions fall far short of a new Cold War.

Rice arrived in Moscow on Monday ahead of high-level meetings with senior Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin. Relations between the two countries have become strained over major policy differences on several issues.

They include US plans for a missile defense system in eastern Europe, and Russian threats to suspend a major military treaty, and oppose a UN plan for Kosovo's independence. But Rice says she is prepared for intensive diplomacy and that Washington is committed to working through its differences with Moscow.