NATO, Russia far apart on missile defense

Oct. 23, 2013 at 10:02 AM
| License Photo

BRUSSELS, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- NATO ministers are working side-by-side with their Russian counterparts to resolve differences over missile defense, NATO's secretary-general said Wednesday.

Missile defense plans for Eastern Europe have frustrated the Kremlin, which says such developments would upset the regional balance of power. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said from Brussels it was "no secret" both sides were far apart on missile negotiations.

"However, ministerial discussions are valuable in addressing existing concerns and we need to continue to engage frankly and directly to overcome our differences," he said in a statement.

Defense ministers from NATO met in Brussels with their Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoygu, to discuss bilateral defense cooperation. Both sides conducted counter-terrorism exercises last month in Russia, Poland and Turkey.

Rasmussen said those operations indicated both sides are able to work side-by-side on shared strategic interests despite concerns over missile defense.

"We now have a proven joint capacity to respond to the hijacking of civilian aircraft and we have showed how effective the NATO-Russia Council is in this field," he said.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Kurds plan to carve state out of Iraq after fighting stops, leaders say
U.S. airstrike kills one of first Islamic State members in Syria
Former Russian oligarch Sergei Pugachyov suing kremlin for $15 billlion
Van hauling fireworks catches fire on I-15 near California-Nevada border
July 4 terror threats an annual but necessary ritual, experts say