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No Russian-Italian Deal on Missile Defense

RIA Novosti

14:29 20/04/2012 MOSCOW, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia failed to sway Italy on NATO’s missile defense shield that is to be deployed in Europe, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Friday.

Serdyukov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met their Italian counterparts in Moscow for talks on cooperation, including in military affairs.

But Italy’s position on missile defense remained “not quite corresponding” to the Russian one, Italian Defense Minister Giampaolo Di Paola said after the meeting.

Moscow insists the missile defense shield, nominally aimed at threats from “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea, would be able to intercept Russian missiles, destroying the strategic parity between Russia and the West established during the Cold War.

But NATO countries, including the United States, the main backer of the shield, say the shield is incapable of intercepting state-of-the-art Russian missiles.

“The missile defense in Europe…has a strategic nature,” Di Paola said after the Friday meeting.

Di Paola was invited to send his deputy to the conference on missile defense that Russia is holding in Moscow in May, Serdyukov said.

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