MOSCOW, June 7 /TASS/. The Kremlin has denied the words of US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft that Moscow allegedly refused to conduct a dialogue with the US on missile defense.
"No, it is not true," the Russian president’s aide Yuri Ushakov told journalists.
"We had our concrete proposals on mutual cooperation at the time of [US President George] Bush but our American partners did not take them up," the presidential aide said.
The US missile defense in Europe is not directed against Russia and will not undermine Russia’s strategic ability to deter threats, US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft wrote in the VK social network on earlier on Tuesday as he answered the users’ questions.
He said that the United States and Russia had offered Russia to cooperate in the field of missile defense, including the creation of two Russia-NATO centers and plans for reaching a transparency regime between the sides.
"Russia turned down all the proposals, which could contribute to developing cooperation and transparency. It was the Russian side that unilaterally terminated the partnership dialogue in 2013," Tefft said.
"The NATO missile defense system is not linked to Russia. It is not directed against Russia and will not undermine Russia’s strategic abilities to deter threats," the US diplomat said.
According to him, the NATO missile defense system is designed to ensure full-scale range and protection of the NATO countries’ European territory against growing threats linked to the spread of ballistic missiles.