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Russia, West have 10 years for full accord on missile defense - Medvedev

RIA Novosti

13:47 30/11/2010 MOSCOW, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and the West must reach a suitable agreement on the issue of missile defense in the next decade otherwise Moscow will have to adopt and deploy new strategic weapons, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

"We are facing the following alternative in the next ten years: either we reach an agreement on missile defense and create a fully-fledged joint mechanism of cooperation, or if we fail to do so, a new round of arms race will start, and we will have to adopt decisions on the deployment of new strategic weapons," Medvedev said.

Moscow has retained staunch opposition to the deployment of NATO missile-defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat and destroy the strategic balance of forces in Europe.

Medvedev said that the proposed European missile defense network must guarantee the security of all countries on the continent.

The president earlier said Russia was ready to participate in a joint missile defense shield in Europe only on principles of equality and responsibility.

Russia and NATO agreed at a recent NATO-Russia summit in Lisbon to formulate terms for missile defense cooperation by June 2011.

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