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    Russia insists on equal part in European missile defense

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    Russian experts must be involved in the development of the European missile defense network on a permanent and equal basis, the chief of the Russian General Staff said.

    Russian experts must be involved in the development of the European missile defense network on a permanent and equal basis, the chief of the Russian General Staff said.

    Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate in the creation of the European missile defense system in November last year. The parties agreed to formulate terms for missile defense cooperation by June 2011.

    "The main condition for joint work [in the area of missile defense] should be the permanent participation of Russian experts in drafting the European missile defense architecture," Gen. Nikolai Makarov said at a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on Wednesday.

    NATO earlier proposed creating two separate systems that would exchange information, while Russia proposed a unified missile defense network, which would include joint centers for establishing threats and be based on joint decisions.

    NATO also suggested that the creation of the European missile defense architecture should be a gradual, step-by-step process.

    Makarov said on Wednesday that this approach was unacceptable because Moscow wanted to see clearly the real purpose of the European missile shield and Russia's role in it from the very beginning.

    "We want to understand the entire design of this 'house', its purpose and cost, and the role Russia will play in it," the general said.

     

    MOSCOW, January 27 (RIA Novosti)

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