MOSCOW, May 3 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia is ready for the quest of mutually-acceptable decisions on missile defense, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday, summing up the results of the first day of the international conference on missile defense issues.
He expressed satisfaction with the talk held and acknowledged that “it would have been right to meet in this format earlier.”
“It is not important that we have not reached agreement today; it is important that we continue a dialogue,” he said. “We have tried, presenting facts, to show the Russian Federation’s concerns,” he noted. “It is for you to judge how convincing we were,” he said, addressing participants in the conference. He believes that “the dialogue that was held is a good basis for continuing the talk in the future.” He acknowledged, however, that “no answer was given to the main question: does missile defense mean confrontation or cooperation?”
Antonov regards the conference as an important event. “It was the first time that the Defense Ministry opened its door and invited experts of the highest level,” he said. “The conversation that ensued was useful and necessary,” he stressed.
When asked about prospects for Russia’s interaction on missile defense with Asian countries, Antonov said: “We are engaged in a highly intensive dialogue with Asian countries on security issues. These are, first of all, China and India. It is yet premature to speak of specific projects,” he said.