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U.S. ready to cooperate with Russia on missile defense issue: official

(Xinhua)

09:16, March 31, 2012

MOSCOW, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Washington is ready to continue cooperation with Russia on the anti-missile defense issue, the U.S. State Department's top arms control official said here Friday.

"There are many opportunities for such an interaction," said Rose Gottemoeller, acting under secretary of state for arms control and international security.

Broad bilateral cooperation met the national interests of both countries, Gottemoeller said. However, she stressed the U.S. still considered it unnecessary to provide legally binding guarantees to Russia that the U.S.-led European missile defense system did not target Russia.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of the missile defense facilities near its borders and wants legally binding guarantees from NATO and the United States.

Meanwhile, Gottemoeller said the U.S. was not ready to discuss with Russia reduction of its tactical nuclear arms.

"We are not ready so far to negotiate (that issue) but we are ready for a serious discussion of what it should look like," she said.

Gottemoeller also said comprehensive nuclear disarmament could not be attained in the foreseeable future.

It was a long-term task and conditions had not been created for such a disarmament, Gottemoeller said, adding disarmament "will definitely not happen in my lifetime."

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