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NATO seeks missile-defense cooperation with Russia

RIA Novosti

16:23 18/09/2009 BRUSSELS, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and NATO should pool their expertise and work together on missile defense, the secretary general of the North Atlantic alliance said on Friday.

"We should explore the potential for linking the U.S., NATO and Russia missile-defense systems at an appropriate time," Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

Speaking at a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace conference, he said the Western alliance and Russia should consider linking their defensive missile systems,

He invited Russia to work with the bloc on joint assessment of security challenges.

"I would like Russia and NATO to agree to carry out a joint review of the new 21st century security challenges, to serve as a firm basis for our future cooperation," Rasmussen said.

He said NATO, the U.S. and Russia have shared interests in working to prevent the proliferation of intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

"If North Korea stays nuclear and if Iran becomes nuclear, some of their neighbors might feel compelled to follow their example," he said.

The NATO head said that Russia should join the alliance's efforts to pressure Iran to renounce its nuclear plans.

"What I would expect is that Russia will join us in putting maximum political and diplomatic pressure on Iran to stop Iran's nuclear aspirations," he said.

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