CHEBARKUL (Chelyabinsk Region), September 27 (RIA Novosti)
No progress has been made in Russia - U.S. talks on the projected deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in Europe, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday.
"No breakthrough decisions have been made. Our U.S. partners continue implementing their plans to create the European segment of the U.S. missile defense system," Antonov said.
Antonov claimed the idea that a "NATO missile defense shield" was being constructed is wrong. "This is nonsense. In fact, the Americans are implementing their own plans in Europe. And unfortunately, these plans are being implemented with a pace that strongly exceeds the discussions between Russia, NATO and the United States."
Russia is ready for compromises, but within reason, he said. "I can't say that the 'missile defense reset' has reached deadlock. I believe that our NATO and U.S. partners understand, that obstinacy won't yield anything," Antonov added.
Russia has maintained a strong opposition to deployment of missile-defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a threat to the validity of its own nuclear deterrent.
NATO says it needs the shield, which will be eventually deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey, to counter the potential threat of missile attacks from the Middle East, particularly Iran.
Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile shield during the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.