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    Russia says European missiles talks 'not deadlocked'

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    Russia does not view the proposed European missile defense plan as deadlocked, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

    Russia does not view the talks with NATO over the European missile defense shield as deadlocked, but admits that the situation is difficult, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Thursday.

    “There cannot be situations by definition; diplomacy exists so that ways out of deadlocks could be found,” Lukashevich said, commenting on Wednesday’s talks between Russia and NATO in Brussels.

    Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said after the talks that they “did not result in the solution of conceptual approaches,” adding that Russia would develop its own offensive nuclear force if NATO fails to come to agreement over the European defense shield.

    "We have no other way, otherwise we'll just have to develop an arms race," he said, adding that “our dialogue must be continued.”

    Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the European missile shield during the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

    Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.

    Moscow insists that legal guarantees are provided that U.S. missile plans would not threaten Russia’s security, Lukashevich said on Thursday.
    “A concept of European missile defense that would take into consideration not only the interests of Russia and NATO countries, but also other states that can potentially participate in this system should be developed,” he said.

    NATO’s assurances that its missiles will not be directed at Russia should be “fixed on the paper,” he added.

    MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti) 


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