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Russia could use radar in missile system

May 4, 2012 at 11:22 AM

MOSCOW, May 4 (UPI) -- Russia could offer its Don-2 radar system near Moscow as part of a deal with NATO on a European missile-defense system, a government official said Friday.

Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said use of the Don-2 depends on reaching agreement with NATO and the United States over the controversial system, RIA Novosti reported.

"If we get an agreement with NATO and the U.S., then the Don-2 could be part of the potential system which could be used against potential medium- and long-range missile threats," Antonov said during a missile-defense conference in Moscow.

Antonov stressed that there were no talks under way on how the radar could be used.

"We are talking about demonstrating in practice, in reality, the elements of our aerospace defense, which we have today in Russia and how we are ready for cooperation," Antonov said. "This station is a working part of the air defense chain defending our country."

The United States and NATO agreed in 2010 to develop the missile defense system but have been at odds with Russia over NATO's refusal to guarantee the system wouldn't be aimed at Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent system.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Russia won't allow development of a defense system that could alter the strategic balance, RIA Novosti said.

"Missile defense is an illusion no matter how much money you invest in it. We will never permit creation of a system which breaks the strategic balance," he said.

The former director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service said the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran, Pakistan or North Korea is why Russia must work toward a mutual understanding with the United States and NATO on the missile defense system.

"Even if Iran, Pakistan and North Korea are not Russian adversaries, their current and projected nuclear potential could destabilize the regional situation," Vyacheslav Trubnikov wrote in an article that was distributed to participants of the Moscow conference. "It could trigger a chain reaction of proliferation that gives rise to a new missile threat for Russia."

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