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3 Sep, 2011 14:05

US not compromising over missile defense – Lavrov

America is refusing to compromise on missile defense, according to Russian Foreign Minister. His comments followed news that Turkey is to host a part of NATO’s European AMD shield.

Mr Lavrov added that as talks on the issue are ongoing, there is still a chance of an agreement on a sectoral anti-ballistic missile system proposed by Russia. However, he noted that “there is no evidence now that they [US and NATO] are ready to meet us halfway."The head of the Russian delegation also underlined that Moscow’s position is based on an initiative proposed by President Medvedev. He outlined the principles of partnership that include equal co-operation from the very start and joint work on examining the threats and fighting them.The foreign minister stressed that Russian negotiators have repeatedly met on the basis of this stand. Both military and diplomatic experts spelled out in detail specific aspects of the approach, he added. However, Lavrov pointed out that despite the risks Russia sees in the American plan, the US and NATO insist that it needs no modification."We are assured that the American plan is perfect and needs no modification, though we see direct risks in it for our Strategic Armed Forces," he said.On Friday, it emerged that Turkey is to host an early warning system as part of NATO’s controversial Anti-ballistic Missile Defense system in Europe. The US says the shield will protect Europe from attacks from Iran and North Korea, but Russia believes it is the real target. According to Turkey's Foreign Ministry, talks on the advanced AMD radar are in “their final stages.”

Sanctions against Syria will not solve anything

Referring to the situation in Syria, Sergey Lavrov, said that Russia opposes any unilateral sanctions against Damascus, including the EU’s embargo on oil exports.“We have always said that no good will come out of unilateral sanctions. This destroys a partnership approach in any crisis,” he told journalists, adding that “sanctions rarely solve anything.”The head of the Russian delegation also said that Moscow has responded positively to a request from Libya’s National Transitional Council to invite its members to discuss the future of Russian energy projects in Libya. "They have proposed contact. We invited the relevant officials to Moscow at theirrequest. We will be discussing all this with them."