MOSCOW, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- NATO should give Moscow legal guarantees on the missile defense issue before serious talks could be launched, a senior Russian diplomat said Wednesday.
The North Atlantic military bloc needs to provide Russia with guarantees that the missile defense program was not against Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told the Voice of Russia radio station in an interview.
"Such guarantees should include military and political criteria, rather than oral ones," Grushko said.
To be more specific, Russia should be informed about the deployment of interceptors and radio-electronic warfare, the speed of the interceptor warheads and other relevant facts and figures, he added.
Grushko praised the NATO Chicago summit as a "step forward in the right direction," as it declared the NATO-created system will not undermine the strategic balance and will not be aimed at intercepting Russian delivery means, he said.
However, more efforts need to be made to solve the thorny issue, Grushko said.
As for the future of the project, Russia suggested building a single missile defense system while the military bloc preferred building two different systems that exchange information with each other, Grushko said.
If NATO decided to build the project alone, Russia will " closely follow the evolution" of it and take necessary military and technical steps to protect the country's national interests, said the official.
Moscow has always opposed the deployment of U.S.-led European missile defense facilities near its borders and called for legally binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the missile shield will not target Russia.
Romney's hostile words prove Russia's correctness on missile defense issues: Putin
MOSCOW, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's tough words on Russia proved the correctness of Russia's attitude toward missile defense issues, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
"He reaffirms the correctness of our stance on the missile defense issues... He strengthened our positions at negotiations on sensitive and important issues," Putin told reporters after talks with visiting Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Full story
MOSCOW, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Moscow and NATO could cooperate on the missile defense in the future, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said Monday.
"Yes, previously the relations between Russia and NATO used to be complicated. Don't compare what used to be and what it is currently. We work together," McFaul told reporters while visiting the Russian Far Eastern city of Vladivostok. Full story