US not cooperating with Russia on missile defence: Minister

September 4th, 2011 - 7:07 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Sep 4 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Washington is not cooperating with Moscow on the issue of the European missile defence system set up by the US, Russia’s foreign minister has said.

“At the moment there is no evidence that they are ready to cooperate with us,” Sergei Lavrov said Saturday at a summit in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe.

Russia needs assurance from the US that the missile defence shield being deployed by America in Eastern Europe will not be directed at Russia or any other country in the Euro-Atlantic zone.

In June, Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said the US was already deploying its missile defence system in Europe without waiting for an agreement with Russia.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the European missile defence system at a summit held in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favours a joint system with full-scale inter-operability.

Asked whether the halt in missile defence talks may affect the Russian-US arms reduction treaty, Lavrov said the treaty allowed its members to withdraw from the pact if there is a threat for the security of the country.

“We will see whether there will be such a threat,” he said.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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