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NATO missile defense to move forward: Clinton


09:49, December 09, 2011

BRUSSELS, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- NATO will continue to deploy its planned missile defense system in Europe and non-NATO countries have no right to veto it, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

"We will continue to press forward with missile defense ... No allies within NATO is going to give any other country outside the alliance veto over whether NATO protect itself by building a missile defense system against threats," Clinton said after a ministerial meeting of NATO-Russia Council.

"Our planned system will not and can not threaten Russia's strategic deterrence. It does not affect our strategic balance with Russia. And it's certainly not a cause for military countermeasures," Clinton said.

"It's not directed against Russia. It's not about Russia. It's frankly about Iran and other states or non-state actors who are seeking to develop threatening missile technology," she said.

At the meeting, NATO and Russia failed to narrow their differences over the system, but talks will continue in a bid to reach a deal before NATO's next summit in Chicago in May 2012.

Despite NATO's verbal assurances, Russia considers the U.S.-led system as a threat to its nuclear deterrence. It has insisted that the system should be run jointly and NATO should give a legal guarantee in writing that Russia will not be targeted, which has been rejected by NATO.

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