MOSCOW, November 25 (Itar-Tass) —— The provision of legal guarantees that the European missile defense will not be targeted against Russia is a complex procedure requiring coordination with all NATO member states, Director of the NATO Information Office in Moscow Robert Pszczel said at the “Russia-NATO: a Year after Lisbon” youth forum on Friday.
An international treaty is the root of problems, he said, noting that coordination of the document with 29 NATO member states may take years. The missile defense was devised within the NATO collective security framework, he added.
NATO has had precedents of assuming certain commitments without giving legal guarantees before, he said. There are NATO promises given several years ago and added to the founding act, he said. The alliance pledged not to deploy tactical nuclear armaments and substantial forces on the territories of its new members. That was not a treaty, but NATO kept its promise, Pszczel said.
Russia insists on legal, not political, guarantees because legal guarantees require ratification, Director of the NATO Division of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s European Department Dmitry Balakin said. “Legal guarantees are a political issue, and we know that ratification is possible if our partners have a political will. This procedure will guarantee that Washington will not abandon its commitments when a new administration takes the office,” he said.