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Diplomat sees no signs NATO will reckon with Russia’s legitimate security interests

June 28, 21:51 UTC+3
Russia's NATO envoy has comented on the alliance's missile defense facilities in Romania and Poland, as well as the naval component in Spain
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© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

MOSCOW, June 28. /TASS/. Moscow will do its best to prevent the United States’ missile defense shield from undermining Russia’s strategic stability, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko told TASS on Tuesday.

"No formal consultations [with NATO on missile defense systems] are currently being held," he said. "This dialogue was once stopped due to the simple reason that we have exhausted all negotiating resources to move forwards in a positive track."

"Today, we see that despite serious changes in the sphere of security, the United States’ plans of establishing a European segment of the global missile defense shield continue being implemented, including the recently commissioned facility in Romania and opening of another facility in Poland in 2018," the Russian diplomat noted. "The United States has also completed its naval component. I would like to remind - four US warships equipped with the Aegis combat system are based in Spain’s Rota Naval Station."

And more similar steps are being taken, despite the fact that the Iranian nuclear problem has been withdrawn from the agenda for good. "A nuclear threat from Iran used to be proclaimed as a key reason for deploying the missile defense shield," he reminded.

As of today, in his words, "there are no signs that NATO is ready to reckon with Russia’s legitimate security interests."

"All our possible response steps have long been announced. They are secret to no one," he said. "Naturally, they will be implemented as we assess real threats stemming from the implementation of these plans."

"In any case, everything necessary will be done to preserve the strategic balance and strategic stability," he stressed. "In this case, I am speaking about the reliability of our nuclear potential which is the pillar of strategic stability.".

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