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MOSCOW, June 23. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has demanded legal guarantees that the United States' missile shield is not aimed against Russia.
"Guarantees that the US missile defense system is not directed against Russia are the only possible way of solving the missile defense problem," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a press briefing on Thursday. "If the US actions are indeed motivated by the desire to minimize the missile threats Washington is talking about, it is clear that such an agreement with the Russian side will in no way undermine the ability of the American side to defend itself from these threats and protect its allies and partners."
According to Zakharova, Moscow is confident that mutually acceptable solutions can be found to missile defense issues that would take into account the interests of both Russia and the US. "Otherwise, we will have to take the necessary retaliatory steps, as noted by Russian President Vladimir Putin who was speaking at a meeting with representatives of international news agencies," she added.
She recalled that the essence of the guarantees is that Russia and the United States could jointly develop a set of military and technical criteria that will make it possible to determine the threshold beyond which boosting the capacity of the U.S. missile defense system would pose a threat to the efficiency of Russia’s strategic deterrence capabilities. "We would like to see Washington’s pledge that it has no intention of upsetting the existing strategic balance," she went on to say. "That is, in fact, we offered the U.S. administration to specify the statements that their actions in the missile defense system sphere are not directed against Russia doing this in the internationally accepted legal manner."