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McFaul Statement on Missile Defense ‘Arrogant’ - Lavrov

RIA Novosti

12:15 04/04/2012 BAKU, April 4 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday described as "arrogant" a recent statement by U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul on missile defense.

“Yesterday our colleague – the U.S. ambassador - made a very arrogant statement that there will be no changes on the missile defense system, but as an ambassador he should understand that interests of the other state should also be taken into account,” Lavrov said in Baku.

The United States will accept "no limits" on its missile defense plans but will work with Russia in the coming years to assuage Moscow’s concerns over the project, McFaul said in an interview with RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

The United States will accept "no limits" on its missile defense plans but will work with Russia in the coming years to assuage Moscow’s concerns over the project, McFaul said in an interview with RIA Novosti issued on Tuesday.

“We are going to accept no limitations on that whatsoever because the security of our people, of our allies, is the number-one top priority,” U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul told RIA Novosti in an interview Monday.

McFaul downplayed an assurance from U.S. President Barack Obama to his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, that Washington would be more “flexible” on the missile defense issue after U.S. presidential elections next November.

Asked about the meaning of that assurance, overheard by reporters in what Obama apparently thought were private remarks to Medvedev as the two leaders met last month in South Korea, McFaul said: “It means we are going to build whatever missile defense system we need."

The U.S.-led NATO alliance and Russia agreed in 2010 to cooperate on building missile defenses in Europe. Russia has however demanded legally-binding, written guarantees that the project would not undermine Russian security, something Washington has declined to provide.



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