NATO's missile shield for Europe is gradually becoming a reality, the alliance's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Monday.
Rasmussen said Poland, Romania and Turkey had already agreed to deploy key components of the future missile defense network on their territories and he was expecting more contributions to the European missile shield in the near future.
"Step by step NATO's territorial missile defense is becoming a reality. I expect that in Chicago [where a NATO summit is planned for 2012] we will declare an interim operational capability," Rasmussen told reporters in Brussels.
Russia is insisting on a joint system with full-scale interoperability to ensure that NATO's system will not be directed against Moscow. The alliance, however, favors two independent systems which exchange information.
U.S. Ambassador to Moscow John Beyrle said in an interview with Russian business daily Kommersant on Monday that Russia and the United States will sign an agreement on the information exchange system of the European missile shield during the NATO summit in Chicago.
The ambassador said the information exchange system will include an exchange of technology as well as two command centers aimed at tracking missile launches all over the world and analyzing possible threats.