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No missile defense cooperation without guarantees Lavrov

RIA Novosti

22:15 21/10/2011 MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow will not cooperate with NATO on a joint European missile defense network until it receives legally binding guarantees that this network will not be targeted against Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

NATO has said it was ready to offer Moscow written assurances that the European missile shield being built is not directed against Russia but has refused so far to provide the legally binding commitments demanded by Moscow.

"We are continuing consultations [on European missile shield] and will be continuing these consultations,” Lavrov said in a radio interview. “However, I do not see any prospects for any joint actions until it is clearly stipulated in legally-binding terms that this is not targeted against us.”

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.

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

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