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No official talks on U.S. missile defense plans - Bulgarian ambassador

RIA Novosti

15:59 05/05/2010 MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti) - Bulgaria is not holding any official talks with the United States on hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield on its soil, Bulgarian Ambassador to Russia Plamen Grozdanov said on Wednesday.

"No official Bulgarian-U.S. talks concerning missile shield deployment are being held," the ambassador said.

In February, Romania and Bulgaria said they were in talks with U.S. President Barack Obama's administration on deploying elements of the U.S. missile shield on their territories from 2015.

The move came after Obama scrapped last September plans by the Bush administration to deploy missile-defense elements in the Czech Republic and Poland due to a reassessment of the threat from Iran. Russia fiercely opposed the plans as a threat to its national security.

Grozdanov said Bulgaria has not yet made any decisions on the issue. He said Sofia is open for discussions with NATO to provide safety for all of the alliance's members.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in late April that Moscow was interested in cooperation with NATO on issues of anti-missile defense in Europe.

Medvedev said in an interview with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) that Moscow has long "said that the system of global missile defense must protect not only a definite country or a group of countries, but function in the interests of all responsible participants of the international community."

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