Russia ready to join NATO missile defense

Dec. 13, 2010 at 9:51 AM
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MOSCOW, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Russia is willing to join a European missile defense shield, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Monday.

"We have proposed to share responsibility and Russia is ready to act in some part and take on anti-missile defense responsibility," he told Vesti 24 television.

President Dmitry Medvedev warned two weeks ago that if missile defense talks failed "a new round of arms race will start" and Russia will "have to adopt decisions on the deployment of new strategic weapons," RIA Novosti reported.

Russia and NATO agreed at a recent Lisbon summit to draft terms for missile defense cooperation by June.

"This will suit us," Serdyukov said. "And no doubt it will relieve our certain concerns of against who it is really aimed at."

The defense minister said the joint defense shield will minimize both financial and military expenses and relieve all of Russia's concerns.

He said he was hopeful the sides will reach an agreement.

Serdyukov pointed out that in Lisbon NATO endorsed the doctrine that Russia is not an enemy, but a strategic partner.

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