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Russia to forge ahead on missile shield

Feb. 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM

MOSCOW, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Russia's deputy prime minister Sunday said Moscow is prepared to build its own missile defense system to protect against potential NATO threats.

Dmitry Rogozin made the vow in a Twitter message after NATO Secretary General Anders Fog Rasmussen was quoted as saying the alliance would continue its program to establish a shield around Western Europe, RIA Novosti reported.

"Well, as for us, we also feel responsibility for protecting our population from your missile threat and will create a reliable air and space defense," wrote Rogozin, who was previously Russia's envoy to NATO.

Russia and NATO have an agreement in place to cooperate on a European missile shield, but Russia wants to operate a single joint system while NATO wants separate systems that share information. Russia has in the past said it was concerned a NATO missile-defense system would allow the West to attack Russia without the risk of a retaliatory strike.

Rogozin said efforts to work out a compromise at the weekend global security conference in Munich were unsuccessful.

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