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U.S. Never Disclosed Missile Defense Data to Russia

RIA Novosti

05:59 21/03/2012 MOSCOW, March 21 (RIA Novosti) - The United States has never provided Russia with a secret information concerning the deployment of its missile shield elements in Europe, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

Earlier this month media reports said that the United States allegedly planned to share with Russia unspecified “secret data,” possibly including information on the velocity burnout of the modified version of the SM-3 rocket, which is to become the staple interceptor rocket of the U.S. missile shield by 2020.

“The United States did not transfer any secret data on tactical and technical characteristics either of missiles or of any other elements of the deployed missile shield,” Ryabkov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Russia has for years strongly opposed American plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe, including Poland, Romania and the Czech Republic.

The diplomat said it was “high time to put an end to speculations in the United States about the current state of the dialogue on the missile defense” as the talks should focus on other most important issues.

“Besides other issues that we are interested in, we first of all want to know what the objective criteria are that the planned U.S. and NATO system is not aimed against Russia as we are being constantly assured of,” Ryabkov said adding that “there is still no progress in the development of such criteria.”

Negotiations between Russia and Western nations on the U.S.-led missile defense project have deadlocked over the West's reluctance to give Moscow guarantees the project would not threaten Russia’s security.

The matter will be taken up again in May at an international conference in Moscow organized by the Russian Defense Ministry and a NATO summit in Chicago later the same month.

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