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U.S.: Missile shield not aimed at Russia

MOSCOW, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A European missile shield is solely intended to defend NATO members against missiles from rogue states and won't be directed at Russia, a U.S. diplomat said.

Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said Wednesday that Washington will not provide Moscow with any legally binding guarantees because the project does not involve Russia, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

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However, Sherman said the United States understands Moscow's concerns and is willing to allow Russian experts to monitor the first tests of the missile shield using their own equipment.

Sherman, who is known as a North Korea expert and diplomatic troubleshooter, met with Russian officials during a visit to Moscow last week. They discussed bilateral relations.

Russian and NATO tentatively agreed a year ago to cooperate on the European missile defense network but differences led to a deadlock in negotiations.

Sherman expressed hope that the two sides would be able to overcome their differences and reach an agreement.

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