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NATO Interested in Missile Defense Cooperation with Ukraine Brengelmann

RIA Novosti

15:45 03/06/2012

KIEV, June 3 (RIA Novosti) - NATO is ready to interact with third countries, including Ukraine, on an individual basis to raise anti-ballistic missile defense efficiency, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy Dirk Brengelmann said on Sunday.

In an interview with Ukraine’s Mirror of the Week weekly ahead of his visit to the ex-Soviet republic, Brengelmann said Ukraine belonged to the group of countries that had quite a clear interest in the future development of NATO’s anti-ballistic missile defense.

NATO and Ukraine discussed this issue during working consultations in March 2011 when the sides exchanged their views on the spheres of possible cooperation, he said.

In March 2012, Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Ukraine Marcin Koziel said NATO was urging Kiev to formulate its position on the deployment of anti-ballistic missile defense system in Europe.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.

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