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Saturday, May 12, 2001, updated at 09:34(GMT+8)

Russian General Says 1972 ABM Treaty Irrevocable

A senior Russian general on Friday slammed the U.S. plan for a national missile defense (NMD) shield as threatening to derail the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty.

"The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty of 1972 must remain immutable, as it is the core of the current world strategic stability system," Col. Gen. Valery Manilov, first deputy chief of Russia's general staff, told reporters on the Russian-U.S. talks on NMD held in Moscow Friday.

He said the treaty can keep the world away from arms race, especially from space militarization.

Russian-U.S. talks in Moscow on strategic stability "have shown that there remain more questions than answers," he said.

Manilov said Russia stands for designing jointly with "the Americans, the Europeans and other partners" measures to fend off possible threats.

Russia ought to continue talks with the United States on the NMD plan, he said.

"It is necessary to show constructively, professionally and with arguments that this idea has tremendous ambitions and dubious results," he said.

It is necessary to jointly find a way out of the mistaken U.S. decision on the NMD issue, he said.

Russia possesses the technical, intellectual and technological potential to ensure the interests of its security and the security of its allies in case of the unilateral withdrawal of the U.S. from the ABM treaty, he stressed.

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A senior Russian general on Friday

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