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NATO urges cooperation with Russia on European missile defense system

(Xinhua)

08:35, May 04, 2012

MOSCOW, May 3 (Xinhua) -- NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow on Thursday denied that the U.S.-led NATO missile defense system in Europe is targeting Russia and urged cooperation between NATO and Russia on the issue.

It would be a mistake that Russia and NATO don't cooperate on missile defense issues and NATO wants Russia to become a full partner on the European missile defense system, Vershbow told an international conference on missile defense issue here.

Meanwhile, he said the system poses no threats to Russia, as Russia's intercontinental ballistic missiles are "too fast and too sophisticated" for the shield to intercept.

Also on Thursday, Madelyn Creedon, U.S. assistant secretary of defense for global strategic affairs, told the same meeting that the U.S. deployment of global missile defense was a response to threats from Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

She denied Russia is the target of the system, adding Washington expects progress on missile talks with Russia during Vladimir Putin's presidency.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of the U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities near its borders and wanted legally binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the missile defense shield is not targeting Russia.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the European system in November, 2010, but the alliance has rejected Moscow's proposal to create a joint missile defense system.

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