Russian rep to NATO to hold global missile defense talks in China and Iran
Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO Dmitry Rogozin plans to visit China and Iran in the middle of January to discuss problem of deploying the global missile defense system, RIA Novosti reported.
"On behalf of the president's instructions, we plan to visit Beijing and Tehran, to discuss the issues related to the promotion plan for a global missile defense," said Rogozin during a round table in the State Duma on Monday.
In China, meetings with Minister of Foreign Affairs and authorities of the General staff are scheduled, and in Iran - with the Secretary of National Security Council, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In October, Moscow's NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said Russian talks with the United States on missile defense had hit a dead end.
The Kremlin says the U.S. expansion of an anti-missile system in Europe is a potential threat to Russia's nuclear arsenal, while Washington has been trying to convince Moscow that the system poses no threat to Russia and is needed to protect against missiles that could be fired from countries with smaller arsenals such as Iran.
The missile shield dispute between Russia and the United States has undermined efforts to build on improvements in relations between the former Cold War foes and is intensified by Russia's uncertainty of U.S. policy after the November 2012 presidential elections.
Edited by: S. Isayev