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Russia open for compromise on missile defense

October 28, 2013, 11:22 UTC+3

Foreign Minister notes that at the same time, Russia-NATO relations lack strategic depth

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ROSTOV ON DON, October 28 (Itar-Tass) - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was opened for a compromise on missile defence.

However, Lavrov said any statements saying nothing should be changed were unacceptable.

“Missile defence remains one of the pressing issues,” the minister said, adding that Russia’s position on this problem was well-known.

“We’re ready for a constructive dialogue with the United States and NATO. We’re opened for a compromise,” Lavrov said, adding, “Permanent talks saying nothing should be changed and this isn’t aimed against Russia are unacceptable for us.”

Missile defence is a key issue in relations between Russia and NATO. Last week it was discussed at the session of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels at the level of defence ministers.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said, “We failed to reach any progress in this field.”

“Missile defence programmes develop and our concerns are ignored,” the minister said, adding, “We lack predictability in relation to American and NATO plans in missile defence.”

Strategic relations

Relations between Russia and NATO lack strategic depth, the Foreign Minister added.

Lavrov said: “We’ve exchanged views on cooperation with NATO. We favour the transparent approach from all parties. Our agenda within the Russia-NATO Council is rather intensive.”

However, the minister said, “Relations between Russia and NATO lack understanding on interdependence of all European countries in the field of security”.

Commenting on Ukraine, Lavrov said he is hopeful that Kiev would continue pursuing the non-aligned policy and non-aligned priorities, which had and would have big significance to strengthen dynamic cooperation in European affairs.

Geneva II conference

Lavrov stated that several states join direct efforts to wreck the Geneva II Conference on Syria.

After the talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kozhara on Monday, Lavrov said extremists in Syria threatened that Russian diplomats “will be a legitimate target”.

“This is indignant and acceptable. It lies on the conscience of those who provides funding to the opposition. All detachments [of the opposition] have their sponsor or patron in the region or outside it,” the minister said, adding, “Everyone, including our American partners, knows this.”

“They say it is necessary to start the Geneva II process. But in fact certain states directly upset the Geneva II Peace Conference,” he said.

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