Compromise possible on European missile shield - Russian Defense Ministry
19 May 2014, 20:25 -- The United States disregards the Russian Defense Ministry's proposals related to the European missile shield, but a compromise is still possible, which will strengthen both NATO's and Russia's security, said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov. 'I last held talks on this problem in New York in December 2013. We handed our American counterparts proposals on how this situation could be dealt with.
But we have not received to this day either their agreement, or a response, or even a polite refusal. While neglecting our readiness for cooperation the US, together with other NATO countries, continues efforts to build a missile defense system which carries a threat to global and regional security,' Antonov said in an interview with the Kuna news agency (Kuwait).
He said the Russian Defense Ministry will closely follow this work and 'will react no matter how quickly and successfully these systems will be developing.' 'Concerning concrete steps, it would be premature for now to speak about them,' Antonov said. 'However, a compromise is still possible, as a result of which both NATO's and Russia's security will benefit,' he said.
Russia proposes turning Middle East into WMD-free zone - deputy defense minister
Russia supports the idea of turning the Middle East into a zone rid of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery means, said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov. 'A good idea has been proposed to turn the Middle East into a zone free from weapons of mass destruction. What is meant here is not only to rid this zone of weapons of mass destruction, but also to remove their delivery means. This is important,' Antonov said in an interview with the Kuwaiti news agency Kuna.
Antonov also made a point that, 'the countries of the Middle East should become signatories to all international conventions, such as the Treaty on the Nonproliferation Nuclear Weapons, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention. 'Definitely, global security will benefit if all countries put their nuclear facilities under the control of the International Atomic Energy Agency. All states without exception,' Antonov said.
The Russian Defense Ministry would like all countries to sign and ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, he said 'When this Treaty enters into effect we will raise a reliable barrier against the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It will be a serious step towards nuclear disarmament,' Antonov said.
Russia in talks to create naval support bases in Middle East
The Russian Defense Ministry is in talks to create several naval re-supply and maintenance bases in the Middle East, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Antonov said in an interview with Kuwait's KUNA news agency on Monday.
'We consistently develop our military cooperation with Middle East countries. Naturally, Russia is interested in having re-supply and maintenance bases for our navy in several states in the region. And we are engaged in talks on the issue with certain states,' the agency quoted Antonov as saying.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in February that Russia may create a network of bases abroad, in countries that include Vietnam, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, the Seychelles, and Singapore. Moscow currently has only one naval base outside the former Soviet Union in Tartus, Syria, but the fate of this naval facility is uncertain because of the ongoing civil war in that country. Post-Soviet Russia closed a large naval base in Vietnam and a radar base in Cuba in 2002 due to financial constraints.
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