Missile defence as indicator of 'resetting'
Russia is interested in constructive equal relations with the US. The signing and ratification of the START Treaty, Russia’s entry into the WTO and the facilitation of visa-issuing are the results of the two countries’ cooperation. However, trust could be weakened by US activities in launching a missile defence system, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes.
“We are aware of potential problems in Russian-US relations, which are capable of impeding our cooperation and hurting confidence. I mean US activities in launching a global missile defence system. Washington’s readiness to take into consideration Russia’s concerns about missile defence and making an effort to reach a mutually acceptable compromise would become an indicator of mature ‘resetting’ and a base for a long-term dialogue. We are putting forward one simple condition. If the US does not mean to change anything in its missile defence plans we would like to have reliable guarantees that missiles due to be deployed in Europe will not be aimed against Russian strategic nuclear forces.”
Speaking in Russian Parliament, the State Duma, Sergey Lavrov stressed that we still have an opportunity to develop a common security project in the European-Atlantic region.
Russia is also interested in the success of the NATO mission in Afghanistan on the struggle against drug trafficking and terrorism. Before foreign troops leave that country it is necessary to prepare a report on complying with the UN mandate, Sergey Lavrov has declared.
“Russia helps the coalition deployed in Afghanistan on the basis of a UN mandate, first of all, taking care of its own national interests. The coalition’s task is eradication of the terrorist threat and drug trafficking in Afghanistan. These problems have a direct bearing on Russia and our neighbours and allies in the region. We would benefit by the coalition’s success and before it leaves the country the coalition should train Afghan people in defending their territory and providing their own security. We participated in issuing the UN Security Council ‘s mandate to the coalition, so before the troops are withdrawn from Afghanistan we would like to hear a report on the tasks fulfilled. We are not satisfied with the dates of the withdrawal of the troops that have been set in advance. First the coalition should guarantee that Afghan security forces could maintain law and order independently and we are also taking part in the establishment and rigging of these forces.”
NATO is planning to shift the responsibility for the country’s security to the national authorities by the end of 2014. As assistance to the coalition, Russia is prepared to accommodate a NATO staging post on its territory for sending non-military cargoes to Afghanistan.