Moscow ready to continue missile defense talks with NATO: Ministry

09:29, June 10, 2011      

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Russia is ready to continue its dialogue with NATO on the missile defense issue, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.

The diplomat also said Russia didn't see the proposed European missile defense plan as being deadlocked.

"There cannot be deadlocked situations, there is diplomacy....but the situation is not an easy one," Lukashevich told a press conference here.

He admitted NATO's unwillingness "to guarantee that the European missile defense system is not targeted against Russia" left Moscow questions, but he stressed Russia was ready to continue the dialogue and search for common approaches.

"I would not like to think of a scenario that there is no agreement (between Russia and NATO) and Europe will draw years back instead of building the common security space," Lukashevich said.

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.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called Euro missile shield during the Russia-NATO Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

Source: Xinhua
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