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Russia wants missile shield 'thought out' first, then deployment

RIA Novosti

14:03 19/10/2011 MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s foreign minister has said Russia, the United States and other countries should work out the architecture of a new missile defense shield for Europe before building it.

Sergei Lavrov commented a day after Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security said the United States was prepared to offer Russia written assurances that the system being built is not directed against it.

She added, however: “We cannot provide legally binding commitments, nor can we agree to limitations on missile defense, which must necessarily keep pace with the evolution of the threat.”

Speaking to journalists outside Moscow on Wednesday, Lavrov said the “dialogue should be held on different positions.”

“We should first work out an architecture of the missile defenses that would guarantee it would be targeted outside Europe and not create risk and threats for anybody inside it. And then we could move ahead and create it all in metal and invite each other to measure it,” Lavrov said.

Washington also invited Russia to use its own radars to measure the test-flight of one or more U.S. interceptor missiles.

Russia has agreed to cooperate on the new system, but warned it may strengthen its own defenses if it is not made a full partner in the U.S.-led shield.

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