‘Russia has no business in NATO missile defence’May 23rd, 2012 - 4:25 am ICT by IANS
Warsaw, May 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Poland has warned Moscow against interfering in NATO’s plans to deploy a missile shield in Europe, as Russia is not a member of the military alliance, said a Polish official.
On Sunday, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the “first step” in the European missile defence system.
“If this system belongs to NATO, then it cannot be that a state, which is not a NATO member, could influence NATO’s defence system and the development of this system,” said Bogdan Borusewicz, chairman of the Polish parliament’s upper house.
Talks with Russia on the missile shield in Europe, however, must be continued to convince it that the system is not threatening Russia’s national security, he added.
“I believe that talks should be continued so that the Russian authorities do not think that the system is aimed at the country,” Borusewicz told reporters.
Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said in early May that Russia does not exclude a pre-emptive strike against a NATO missile defence system in Europe as a last resort.
The US and NATO agreed to develop the system at a summit in Lisbon in 2010, but talks between Russia and the alliance have floundered over NATO’s refusal to grant Russia legal guarantees that the system would not be aimed against Russia’s strategic nuclear deterrent.
NATO and the US insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran but it would not be directed at Russia.
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