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#6 - JRL 7036
Russian foreign minister: the NMD system no obstacle to ties with Russia 

Moscow, 27 January: US plans to develop and deploy a national missile defence system [NMD] should not present an obstacle in missile defence ties between Moscow and Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said in an interview to be published by the Tuesday [28 January] issue of Itogi magazine.

"We think that America's plans should not block the way to ties in missile defence, whose contours are defined in the May declaration on new strategic relations between Russia and the United States. Being guided by mutual interests, we will progress step by step as mutual confidence grows," Ivanov said.

Russia "is interested in continuing a strategic dialogue with the United States, especially pertaining to Russian-American relations", Ivanov said. In this respect, "the strategic offensive reductions treaty brings us to new levels of cooperation", he said. "I think that Russian lawmakers understand that well and will bear it in mind when ratifying it," Ivanov stressed.

At the same time, Ivanov once again expressed regret about the US decisions to secede from the ABM Treaty and deploy the first phase of the national missile defence system in 2004-2005.

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