Moscow expects U.S. reaction to missile defense system by year end
10:0318/05/2010 WASHINGTON, May 18 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. administration's reaction to Russia's proposal of participating in the creation of a European missile defense system will be clear by the end of the year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.
Ivanov said Russia has not reversed its offer of using its radar systems in cooperation with the United States to create an incorporated system in Europe and that talks on the new system would continue.
"But cooperation needs to be from A to Z: to the end," Ivanov said, adding: "We will assess the threats together, evaluate the risks together, and begin creating a defense system together."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at the end of April that Moscow was interested in cooperation with NATO on issues of anti-missile defense in Europe.
NATO foreign ministers agreed at their informal meeting in Estonia in April to begin dialogue with Russia on cooperation in the sphere of anti-missile defense.
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 society."
He said Russia stands against the formation of air defense systems because they eventually "damage the current balanced system between the main nuclear powers."
"Either we are together or we [Russia] have to react somehow," he 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.
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