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RF-US, RF-NATO talks on missile defence not yield results – Lavrov

October 31, 2011, 14:42 UTC+3

“The fact that the U.S. ignores our ideas makes us think that our partners are not sincere in full," said Russian Foreign Minister

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MOSCOW, October 31 (Itar-Tass) — Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Russian-US talks and the Russian-NATO contacts on missile defence do not yield any results.

“Our partners are using different means to duck our question why it is not allowed to give strict legal binding guarantees saying missile defence is not aimed against Russia and our strategic nuclear forces if the U.S. global missile defence plans are not directed against Russian interests,” Lavrov said on Monday.

“The fact that the U.S. ignores our ideas makes us think that our partners are not sincere in full. This runs counter the agreements, which were concluded at the Russian-American bilateral summits and within the Russia-NATO Council summit, including the summit in Lisbon, saying we will work jointly,” the Russian minister said.

“The corresponding instructions were given. But it is obvious that they are not implemented,” he stressed. “The situation is serious. During the upcoming talks between the Russian and U.S. presidents, we will raise this problem because it is necessary to take final decisions on what we should do further,” Lavrov pointed out.

Meanwhile, Russian permanent representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said the foreign ministers of the Russia-NATO Council would gather in Brussels on December 8.

“This meeting will take place a year after the historical Lisbon summit when Russia and NATO reached certain agreements in order bring our partnership into strategic one. Now it is time to sum up the results of the work,” Rogozin said.

“In our cooperation we are guided by certain documents, which are not new yet. These documents are, for example, related to interaction for restoring peace in Afghanistan or creating an electronic IED remote detection for anti-terrorist purposes,” he noted.

However, according to Rogozin, “we can state that the key point of the Lisbon agreements on Russian-NATO missile defence cooperation remains unimplemented ‘home work’.”

“The Russia-NATO Council ministerial meeting should be a platform for a non-easy and necessary analysis of our talks on missile defence that face crisis. The missile defence problem became a kind of a new dogma for NATO. We’d like the Alliance to stick to a dialectical approach – we want the Alliance to be open for interaction with its partners,” Rogozin stressed.

He also noted that if “NATO strictly follows the U.S. missile defence policy, by-passing the position of the partners and even the allies, this can complicate our mutual relationship in all fields”.

“We won’t also avoid the analysis of the consequences of the NATO campaign in Libya where the Alliance freely interpreted international documents and assumed the right to decide on the future of the country instead of Libyans. Finally, it has to choose between ‘a tyrant’ and ‘Islamists’,” the Russian permanent representative pointed out.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO was not ready to accept Russia’s proposals on sectoral missile defence in which Russia will ensure missile security of a part of NATO’s territory.

Rasmussen made it clear that NATO would not ensure is own security using external sources.

At the same time, he said that the dialogue with Russia is evolving naturally, each side has its own interests, and they need time to find a mutually acceptable solution.

“Over 30 countries already have, or are developing, a ballistic missile capability. NATO has decided to build a system to defend itself against this threat. Russia is also concerned about missile proliferation and so it makes sense for us to work together,” he said.

The Secretary-General suggested that NATO and Russia should build two independent missile defence systems. “We want real cooperation with Russia on missile defence. Our vision is two independent systems with one goal. Two systems that would exchange information to make the defence of NATO territory and of Russian territory more effective,” he said.

Rasmussen stressed that the alliance would not give legal guarantees that its missile defence would not be directed against Russia’s strategic capabilities.

In his opinion, the best guarantee for Russia would be participation in an open and sincere cooperation in order to reach the necessary level of trust. 

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