The Russian president is unlikely to attend a NATO summit in Chicago if the missile defense issue is not on its agenda, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday.
“Russia has an invitation to the NATO summit; everything depends on the agenda,” he said.
However, if the issue of the NATO missile defense system remains unchanged, then the chances of the Russian president attending the summit “will be even smaller,” he added.
“We have a considerable amount of work in progress but in the absence of [a discussion] on missile defense there would probably not be enough to take part in the summit,” Ryabkov said.
NATO members agreed to create a missile shield over Europe to protect it against ballistic missiles launched by so-called rogue states, such as Iran and North Korea, at a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2010.
Russia has demanded that NATO provide written, legally binding guarantees that its missile shield will not be directed against Moscow but the alliance has been reluctant to meet the demand.