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West Never Treated Russia as Equal in Missile Defense – Russian Security Council

RIA Novosti

13:17 02/07/2014

MOSCOW, July 2 (RIA Novosti) - The European missile defense system never saw Russia's participation as equal, as Moscow was never offered processing centers or provided information exchange, Russian Deputy Security Council Secretary Evgeny Lukyanov said Wednesday.

"No one in the US has offered two processing centers or any real-time exchange systems," Lukyanov told RIA Novosti in an interview.

Lukyanov also said the final decision to place the European part of the missile-defense system in Poland, Romania, and Turkey is up to those sovereign states.

"We aren't pleased over these countries' decision, but it's important that people in these countries acknowledge the fact that they will become hostages of the irresponsible American practice," the deputy security council secretary said.

US plans to create a missile defense system in Europe have recently become a source of friction in US-Russian relations.

The US currently has two strategic missile defense systems on its own territory: in Alaska and California, while Russia has only one system of the same kind in Moscow Region. The US is currently planning to build a third missile defense site in Europe.

Moscow insists on legally binding contract guarantees that the European missile defense is not directed against Russia, while NATO has called on Russia to simply take the alliance's word that the system will not be used against Moscow.

In late May, Moscow was denied participation in the international conference on missile defense.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over this head-in-the-sand approach, as the unlimited deployment of US-NATO missile defense elements is continuing in Europe, which may "violate the strategic balance and undermine international stability."

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that relations between the US and Russia are not in good shape, as Moscow's attempts to "handle business on an equal basis" were never matched by Washington.

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