Gates calls for further U.S.-Russian cooperation

08:43, March 22, 2011      

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Visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday called for further U.S.-Russian cooperation, especially in the field of anti-terrorism, according to local reports.

In his address to students of the Kuznetsov Navy Academy in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, Gates said both the United States and Russia have recognized terrorism as the main threat in the 21st century.

"Allowing terrorism that weakens one nation does not provide opportunity for another, but rather ultimately increases the danger to all," Gates was quoted by local media as saying.

For Russia, the country has been plagued by terror attacks for years, especially those from the Caucasus region.

Gates also called on Russia to cooperate with his country on a range of pressing issues of regional security, including talks on Iran's nuclear program.

With regards to the European missile defense system, Gates said he believed that Russia will dispel its doubts over the issue in the coming years.

"Russia still doubts over the European missile defense system, but both sides intend to overcome these difficulties," Gates said.

Moscow has proposed several times to cooperate with NATO on a joint missile defense system on an equal basis and firmly opposed to the deployment of missile defense elements near its borders. However, NATO and the United States said the missile shield was not aimed at Russia.

During his four-day visit to Russia, probably his last visit to that country as head of the Pentagon, Gates will also meet with his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Source: Xinhua

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