The creation of a European missile shield should stipulate joint decision making, while a simple sharing of defense information among the project participants would only restrict Russia's nuclear potential, the Russian envoy to NATO said in an interview with the Izvestia daily.
Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate in the creation of a joint missile defense shield in Europe during a NATO-Russia Council meeting in Lisbon in November last year. The parties agreed to formulate terms for missile defense cooperation by June 2011.
"Russia has proposed not to create two different systems that would exchange information. This would not be a European missile defense shield but a system aimed at deterring Russia's nuclear potential under the guise of protection against Iranian missiles," Dmitry Rogozin told Izvestia.
That is why, he said, the deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov, proposed the creation of a united European missile defense system during a December meeting of the NATO-Russia Council's working group on missile defense.
This fully-fledged system, he went on, should include joint centers for establishing threats and be based on joint decisions.
"Each side will have its own button to launch operative [missile] systems, but decisions on their application should be made jointly," Rogozin said.
NATO and Russia's defense ministers should draw up a common vision of the missile defense architecture in Europe by March and deliver a preliminary report on NATO-Russia cooperation in the sphere in June, he said.
Earlier, Rogozin said Moscow assumed that "each side will have its own missile defense system, but they will cooperate, which means that each side will be responsible for its own security sector" in order to prevent any possible attacks against the other side.
MOSCOW, January 12 (RIA Novosti)