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20 May, 2010 15:12

Moscow waiting for NATO’s moves on missile defense

NATO and Russia should trust each other more – that is the message from the chief of the Alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as he visits Bulgaria to negotiate the placement of missile defense units across the country.

Ahead of the visit, the Alliance addressed Moscow's fears over the issue by inviting Russia to become part of the project.

Anders Rasmussen has been pushing hard for Russian involvement in order to help build trust between East and West.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recalled previous Russo-American agreements regarding missile defense.

“The US and Russian presidents had agreed that any measures on missile defense should only be taken after the joint analysis of threats. This would result in a missile defense structure based on collectively agreed principles. At the same time, NATO is working on decisions taken individually, that doesn’t fit the logic of co-operation. This week, the NATO General Secretary will be talking in detail about his approach to the issue at the Russia-NATO council. We hope, this will clear up any confusion,” Lavrov said.

Just recently, missile defense was a key factor in an arms reduction agreement reached between Russia and the US. Moscow reserves the right to pull out of the deal if it feels the shield adversely influences the balance of power.

Independent analyst Vladimir Kozin does not rule out Russia’s participation in the project, but Moscow is waiting for NATO to explain how they can co-operate on missile defense.

“Russia is ready to help NATO build up the system only when the threats it deals with are imminent and if they are being diverted against all of us,” Kozin told RT.