Russia disappointed over U.S. position on European missile defense system

13:40, May 17, 2011      

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Russia was disappointed with the U.S. refusal to give Moscow judicial guarantees that the European missile defense system would not target Russia, Russian deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.

Speaking in the State Duma, or the lower house of Russia's parliament, Ryabkov even warned that Russia may withdraw from the new Russian-U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty (START) if the U.S. and NATO continue developing the European missile defense system.

Further reduction of the strategic arms would be impossible without agreements on the system between Russia and the United States, Ryabkov warned, adding that Russia would have to take some measures to restore the power balance.

The New START, signed on April 8, 2010, limits each country to 1,550 strategic warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200.

Ryabkov said Moscow saw no sense in cooperation with the U.S. and NATO concerning the judicial guarantees were not given.

"We cannot base our security on the political promises of the other country," the diplomat noted, adding that only political statements were insufficient.

However, Ryabkov also said that "there is still time for making an agreement."

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of NATO missile defense facilities near its borders, saying they would be a security threat to the country and upset the strategic balance of force in Europe.

Source: Xinhua
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