Why Russia is no closer to working with NATO on missile defense

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at NATO-Russia Council meeting in Sochi, July 4, 2011

From the Economist:  The hopes at NATO’s 2010 Lisbon summit that Russia might be a partner in the missile-defence system meant to protect Europe from a nuclear-armed “rogue” state are looking increasingly forlorn. NATO governments had promised “to explore opportunities for missile-defence co-operation with Russia in a spirit of reciprocity, maximum transparency and mutual confidence.” But at his Valdai dinner on November 11th, Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin, claimed that the Russian ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, had been told by an American senator that missile defence was aimed at Russia’s nuclear deterrent. Mr Putin even drew a diagram on a napkin to make his point.

At this week’s meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, a body meant to improve relations, Russia’s deputy defence minister, Anatoly Antonov, was equally blunt. He complained that NATO was pressing ahead even though Russia’s conditions for co-operation had not been met. Chief among his gripes was America’s refusal to give Russia a legal guarantee—in effect a treaty—that NATO’s missile shield would never be used to protect Europe or America from Russian nuclear weapons. He suggested that Russia might take “military-technical measures.”   (photo: AP)

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