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Reset in Russia-U.S. relations 'working out' - Lavrov

RIA Novosti

17:18 07/07/2011 MOSCOW, July 7 (RIA Novosti) - The reset in Russia-U.S. relations is bearing good fruit, but several disputable points, especially the projected deployment of a NATO missile defense shield in Europe, are still eclipsing bilateral ties, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

"The reset is working out, we now have a more reliable, more predictable, more consistent partner, and we of course appreciate this. Relations between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barrack Obama are very close and friendly," Lavrov said during an interview on state TV channel Rossiya 24.

However, several controversial issues are still affecting ties between the two countries. "We have not completely resolved all issues...For example, the [deployment of a NATO] missile defense shield - this is really a very complicated issue."

NATO has so far refused to agree on Russia's proposal for a so-called sector missile defense network in Europe. The alliance insists on establishing two independent systems that exchange information.

NATO has also refused to provide legally binding guarantees that its missiles would not be directed against Russia, which Moscow says is the only way to prevent a new arms race.

If Russia and the United Sates manage to find a compromise, this would "switch their relations over to a level of allies," Lavrov said.

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