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MOSCOW, October 18 (Itar-Tass) — Despite the U.S. refusal to provide legally binding guarantees that the ABM facilities in Europe will not be aimed at the Russian nuclear forces, Russia is trying to get the talks on the problem out of the impasse, The Kommersant writes. According to the information of the newspaper, a new initiative is being discussed in Moscow, which is codenamed Strategic Defence of the Earth. It envisages the creation of a system jointly with the United States and NATO, which could protect the Earth not only against missiles, but also against asteroids and other threats coming from outer space. The idea was put forward by Dmitry Rogozin, special representative of the Russian President on problems of ABM. Sources of The Kommersant report that Dmitry Medvedev showed a lively interest in the idea.
Several diplomats taking part in the discussion of the project told The Kommersant that Russia was drafting a new package of proposals on ABM, which could remove Moscow’s concern over the EuroABM system, which is being created by Americans. According to one of the sources, the new proposals have not been finally formulated and are known so far as Strategic Defence of the Earth, similar to the famous defence programme, put forward during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, which was named Strategic Defence Initiative. In the opinion of the diplomats, it really resembles in a way the U.S. project of “star wars.”
The essence of the idea consists in the transfer of the emphasis of the ABM system, created by the U.S. and its NATO partners, from the warding off of missile threats to the warding off of space threats. “At present the U.S. ABM system is aimed exclusive at fighting missiles launches somewhere in the Middle East. The new approach envisages the bringing together of the anti-aircraft, anti-missile and anti-space defences,” said the diplomat who knows the project. “So, the new system will be directed not so much against missiles, as against possible threats to the Earth coming from outer space, including asteroids, fragments of comets and other stellar bodies.”
According to Russia, the new system should be put under the control of the United Nations Organization, which is one of the key elements of the new proposal. The meaning of the demand is obvious. Russia, as one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, has the right of veto there. This is why Moscow will keep under control the development of the project and will be able to prevent its transformation in the direction, which does not suit Russia, at any stage.