Cooperation with NATO should be full-fledged: Lavrov

22:35, April 22, 2010      

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Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday that cooperation with NATO on the construction of a missile defense system in Europe should be full-fledged.

"If it comes to inviting us to join a process which all decisions were made without us, this can hardly be called working together," Lavrov said at a news conference.

The main concern about relations between Russia and NATO is that "if we are to speak about joint work, this joint work should start from the very first step: examination of missile threats, and hammering out of approaches on to how to fight these threats," he said.

The foreign minister also noted that contacts had already been made between the two sides on joint analysis of missile proliferation threats.

"We want that this work should be really joint and mutually respectful rather than consisting of an invitation to join something already settled without us," he said.

American President Barack Obama announced Sept. 17, 2009, that the U.S. would abandon the Bush-era missile defense shield program while initiating a "phased, adaptive approach" to the plan in Eastern Europe.

The Bush administration planned to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic as part of a European missile shield to protect its allies there from missile threats from the so-called "rogue states."

Russia strongly opposed the measure, saying it poses a threat to its security.

Bradley Roberts, deputy assistant U.S. secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, said last week that the United States will be able to cover its NATO allies in Europe with a missile defense shield by 2018.

Source: Xinhua


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