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Lavrov, Clinton to hold more missile defense discussions in Bali

November 19, 2011, 0:31 UTC+3
As Lavrov told the media on Friday, the list of the themes to be discussed included missile defense and crucial issues of bilateral and international agenda
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BALI, Indonesia, November 19 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will hold bilateral talks on the sidelines of the East Asian summit in Bali on Saturday.

As Lavrov told the media on Friday, the list of the themes to be discussed included missile defense and crucial issues of bilateral and international agenda.

"We also plan to exchange notes in connection with the Russian-US agreement on simplifying visa requirements for mutual travel," Lavrov said. He added that "the agreement is subject to ratification by the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation," as three-year multiple-entry visas, which will be given to tourists and businessmen in both countries, are not envisaged by Russian law.

"As for the missile defense, we will continue discussions with a view to finding mutually acceptable solutions," Lavrov added.

On Monday, upon the end of the APEC summit in Honolulu the Russian Foreign Minister told reporters that the talks with Washington and NATO on a European missile defense were deadlocked. "A unilateral plan for a global missile defense system of the United States, which, although it will be NATO’s, will in effect operated under American templates, is being are fully implemented: facilities on the ground are being created, including the bases of interceptors and the radars,” Lavrov said. “Our partners do not exclude the possibility of deploying ships with antimissile systems not only in the Mediterranean, but also in the Black Sea, the Barents Sea, and the North Sea."

"At the same time everything remains within the framework of the same position that was announced to us initially - that the system is not aimed against Russia," he continued. "But we cannot accept this. We talked about that in Honolulu, and if we have had ourselves heard, we would still like to get clear assurances on paper."

"One can talk for long about alleged obstacles on Capitol Hill,” the minister said. “But so far no one has tried to give us such a guarantee, so there's no point in talking about any hypothetical insurmountable difficulties in the U.S. Congress."

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