Russia to continue missile shield talks

Nov. 19, 2011 at 4:59 PM
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BALI, Indonesia, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday his country will keep negotiating with the United States on a European missile shield despite differences.

Speaking at the East Asia summit, Sergei Lavrov said Russia needs assurances the missile shield would not be aimed at the country, the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

"We are not closing the door in any case. We will continue working with the Americans within NATO-Russia Council, but we will continue working on the basis of our position that no-targeting guarantees are needed," Lavrov said.

But he said "we do not see any progress" and the United States "refuses to seal clear guarantees of no-targeting of this system against Russian strategic nuclear arsenal and refuses to work out relevant military, technical and other criteria aimed at providing such guarantees."

Russia wants assurances U.S. global missile defense plans are not directed against Russian interests.

A U.S. diplomat this week said a European missile shield is intended solely to defend NATO members against missiles from rogue states and won't be directed at Russia.

But Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman said Wednesday that Washington will not provide Moscow with any legally binding guarantees because the project does not involve Russia.

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