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NATO chief calls again for missile defense cooperation with Russia

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NATO's secretary-general reiterated on Wednesday his call for closer cooperation with Russia on the issue of the European missile defense.

NATO's secretary-general reiterated on Wednesday his call for closer cooperation with Russia on the issue of the European missile defense.

"Together NATO and Russia should explore cooperation on missile defense - a security roof that will give real security to our people," Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a video address posted on NATO website.

"I believe this is the most significant step we can take to integrate Russia more fully in Euro-Atlantic security. It would demonstrate on a daily basis that we cooperate and exchange information to counter the rising threat of missile proliferation," he said.

Moscow has long opposed U.S. plans to place elements of its missile defense network in eastern Europe, and hoped that the controversy over the U.S. missile shield had been resolved last year when the Obama administration scrapped plans to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic.

However, Washington's new phased-in approach for European missile defense, which adds a naval component and could involve not only Poland and the Czech Republic but also Romania and Bulgaria, makes the potential threat to Russian nuclear deterrent even stronger.

To alleviate Russia's concerns, Washington agreed to declare a link between the reduction of strategic offensive weapons and the development of missile defenses in a new U.S-Russian strategic arms reduction treaty signed last week in Prague.

Following the signing of the new arms reduction deal, Russia proposed cooperation with the United States and NATO in creating a global missile defense system.

BRUSSELS, April 14 (RIA Novosti) 

 

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