Russia, NATO far from joint missile shield

Updated: 2011-05-30 09:26


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GOLDEN SANDS, Bulgaria - There is little hope that Russia and NATO will agree on building a joint missile shield, a report released here on Sunday at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly spring session said.

According to Raymond Knops, who presented the Draft General Report titled "Missile Defence: the Way Ahead for NATO," the realization of agenuine collaborative missile defense effort between Russia and NATO appears to be more difficult than the technical hurdles facing the NATO system.

The two sides' fundamental vision for the system remain far apart, and there appears to be little hope that an agreement will emerge, the report said.

However, the report said that the first signpost for assessing progress in this endeavor will come at the June 2011 meeting of NATO Russia Council Defense Ministers, where a comprehensive Joint Analysis of the future framework for broader missile defense co-operation is to be assessed.

The report also said the endeavor may also be facing some urgency, not only because of the pressures implied by Russian expectations, but also because of the electoral calendars in the United States and Russia.

"Should the issue of missile defense become significant in either country's presidential campaigns, the prospects for significant agreements could be compromised, at least in the short term," the report said.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called Euro missile shield during the Russia-NATO Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010.

NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability and demands NATO to guarantee that the system would not be aimed against Russian targets.


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