Lavrov lectures 'arrogant' McFaul on US missile defense
Russia’s foreign minister has accused the US ambassador of arrogance after the latter claimed that his country will maintain plans to create a missile defense system in Europe, regardless of other nations’ objections.
During a lecture at the Moscow State University’s branch in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, Sergey Lavorv commented on a recent interview by US ambassador Michael McFaul to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti. “Yesterday our colleague – the US ambassador – said very arrogantly that there will be no changes to missile defense even though he, being an ambassador of a foreign state, must understand that the interests of corresponding states must be taken into consideration,” the minister said.McFaul said in an interview that the United States will accept "no limits" on its missile defense plans, opting instead to work with Russia in the coming years to assuage Moscow’s concerns over the project. Russia agreed to cooperate on European missile defense in 2010 at the joint summit with NATO, but so far there has been no agreement between Russia and the United States, the key NATO member. As the prospects for mutual cooperation on missile defense dissolves, Moscow has requested legally-binding guarantees that the new system will not be aimed against Russian territory. Thus far, however, Washington has refused to provide such written assurances. After repeated warnings, Russia that it was starting to build an "asymmetrical reply" to the missile defense initiative – building up its strike forces and moving missiles to its Western borders so that the nearby component of the missile defense system becomes vulnerable.