#13 - JRL 2009-174 - JRL Home
Russia insists on involvement in any international missile shield

ZURICH, September 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not settle for any new missile defense system unless it has a role in it, the chief of the General Staff said on Monday.

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Thursday that the Western alliance and Russia should consider linking their missile defense systems, an idea welcomed by Russia's envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin.

"As far as missile defense is concerned, we view it negatively unless we are to build it jointly," Gen. Nikolai Makarov told reporters.

He said the U.S. and Russia have yet to hold detailed discussions on joint missile defense.

Speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace conference, Rasmussen invited Russia to work with the bloc on a joint assessment of security challenges, adding that NATO, the U.S. and Russia had shared interests in working to prevent the proliferation of intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

The NATO chief also said Russia should join the alliance's efforts to pressure Iran to renounce its nuclear plans.

On the issue of cancelling Russia's plans to deploy Iskander tactical missiles in Kaliningrad on the border with Poland, Makarov said: "such a decision has not been taken."

U.S. President Barack Obama announced last Thursday that Washington would not deploy a radar system in the Czech Republic and a missile base in Poland, due to a re-assessment of the threat from Iran. Moscow fiercely opposed the plans as a national security threat.

A senior defense official said on Saturday that the missile plans for Kaliningrad would be canceled due to the U.S. decision.

"The measures Russia had planned in response to the deployment of missile shield elements in Eastern Europe will certainly be abandoned," Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said on Ekho Moskvy radio.

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