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Russian military officials to hold talks with NATO on Europe missile shield

Missile Defense Control Room
[file photo]
BRUSSELS. May 30 (Interfax) - Russian military negotiators are making active efforts to have a planned meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on June 8 approve a concrete document on proposed cooperation between Russia and the North Atlantic alliance in building a European missile defense, Russia's permanent envoy to NATO said on Monday.

"It is for this purpose that a delegation is arriving in Brussels tomorrow headed by Anatoly Antonov, a deputy defense minister, and there will be bilateral Russian-American consultations here on June 1-2 between the Russian Defense Ministry and the Pentagon," Dmitry Rogozin told Interfax.

"Let's hope that the military will be able to do more concrete and advanced work than what is, unfortunately, in evidence at political and diplomatic level," he said.

"If the Russian negotiators are able to agree the parameters that we are trying to agree within the Interagency Working Group for Liaison with NATO on the missile defense plan and come to an agreement on the right kind of solutions with the American side, their work will result in a successful ministerial meeting on June 8," Rogozin said.

The June 8 event will bring together the Russian defense minister and his counterparts in NATO countries.

"If this doesn't happen, the absence of any documents will also be a result in its own way," the envoy said.

"They will be very extensive consultations. Altogether up to 30 people will be taking part in them. The large delegations will make detailed analyses of concrete proposals and of the way they can be put into practice in the event of a political agreement to create a unified, or at least a partially unified, missile defense. The second part of the problem is how to put the understanding that may be achieved on paper," Rogozin said.

He said three days of practically uninterrupted consultations is an extremely tight timeframe for talks of this kind.

Rogozin heads the Interagency Working Group.

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