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Pentagon Suspends Missile Shield Talks with Russia over Ukraine

RIA Novosti

10:25 03/04/2014

MOSCOW, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - The Pentagon has halted all talks with Russia concerning its anti-missile defense shield in Europe over the Ukrainian crisis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Elaine Bunn said.

'Russia's intervention in Ukraine in violation of international law led to the suspension of our military-to-military dialogues, including civilians, and we have subsequently not continued to engage Russia on the topic of missile defense,' Ms. Bunn said.

Washington has also declined to introduce any restrictions on anti-missile defense as proposed by Russia, the US deputy defense chief said.

Ms. Bunn also added that Moscow will not have command and control capabilities in the project.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the US-led ABM program in Europe at a Lisbon summit in 2010, but the dialog stalled after Washington refused to give Moscow guarantees that the project didn't threaten Russian nuclear deterrence forces.

The Kremlin initially offered NATO to build a joint European missile defense system based on a sectoral principle. This scenario suggested that every partner would be responsible for a certain region, with Russia having control of the Baltic space. This plan was shot down citing Article 5 of the alliance's collective security agreement.

The Ukrainian coup has soured Russia's cooperation with the United States and NATO on many levels, including their joint anti-drug and helicopter maintenance programs in Afghanistan.

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