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Missile defense talks should continue, reach decision Medvedev

RIA Novosti

17:33 20/10/2011 MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday emphasized that Russia and the United States should continue exchanging opinions on a planned missile shield in Europe.

“We should continue exchanging opinions and realize that certain decisions must come next,” Medvedev said at a press conference with Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands.

Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday that the missile shield talks are completely deadlocked.

Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security said on Tuesday that the United States was ready to offer Russia written assurances that the NATO-backed Euro missile defense shield being built is not directed against the country. But she refused to provide the legally binding commitments demanded by Moscow.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile defense system at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

Washington has 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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