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Russia will counter any NATO missile defense - Russian envoy

RIA Novosti

21:35 07/06/2011 MOSCOW, June 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia can develop missile systems capable of penetrating any missile defense deployed by NATO, Russia's envoy to the alliance Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday.

"Any attempts by those in NATO who dream of neutralizing our strategic potential will be futile," Rogozin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel. "We have enough capacity to create both defensive and offensive means to counter any missile threat and to penetrate any missile defense."

Rogozin spoke on the eve of a NATO-Russia Council meeting on Wednesday, which is expected to cover a wide range of issues relating to the partnership between Russia and NATO, including a proposal two build one or two missile shields to protect Europe against attacks.

The diplomat reiterated that nuclear deterrent was the only guarantor of Russia's sovereignty, and Moscow would never allow it to be put under threat.

Rogozin said that Russia's response to any threat would be "comprehensive," without expanding further.

The envoy expressed hope that Russia and NATO could overcome existing controversy on the missile defense issue with enough "goodwill."

However, NATO's current position is not constructive and the alliance has not been willing to compromise so far, Rogozin said.

NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with shared responsibility and involvement.

"They [NATO] stubbornly refuse to link their system with ours, insisting on the principle that only NATO should be responsible for its own security and no one else should interfere with this task," Rogozin said.

He added that Russia was concerned about NATO moves to place elements of their missile shield close to Russian borders and by the absence of guarantees that U.S. warships would not be deployed in the northern seas near the Russian border as part of the U.S. four-phase European missile defense initiative until 2020.

"Their combat and information-support systems [radars and control centers] should be moved away from our borders," he said.



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