Deputy Defense Minister: U.S to continue debate with Russia over anti-missile defense system

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan.6 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /

The work on the U.S and Russian cooperation in anti-missile defense system is underway, Alexander Vershbow, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, said in an interview to Baltic News Service.

"We had great expectations for progress in our efforts aimed at developing anti-missile defense systems of NATO and Russia and coordinating our efforts in ensuring a higher level of security after the Lisbon meeting and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev's participation in this meeting," he said.

The U.S anti-missile defense system will be based in Europe. It is designed to protect from possible Iranian missile attacks. The US came to agreement with Romania to place 24 interceptors there, as well as comprehensive radar in Turkey.

Russia is sure that the system may be directed against its intercontinental ballistic missiles and seeks legal guarantees that it will not happen. The US said that it will not agree with any restrictions on its efforts aimed at creating the defense system.

Vershbow said that there is still a long way and the U.S is ready to continue bilateral discussions with Russia, as well as in NATO-Russia format.

"We seek to give a concrete argument for cooperation on anti-missile defense system and suggested a number of very creative ideas," he said. "For example, the idea of joint analysis of anti-missile defense which will respond to concerns of some Russian representatives over the potential of our system."

He said that there are specific mechanisms called as NATO - Russia anti-missile centers in the U.S.

"It would be possible to collect the data of early warning systems there and NATO and Russian servicemen would be on duty and coordinate possible operations of anti-missile defense system, during 24 hours a day," he said.

Vershbow said that it is obvious that the Russian still have undispelled fears over potential of the U.S systems.

"The systems which we plan to install within next decades in Europe are designed to respond to threats outside Europe and they do not pose a threat to strategic deterrence means of Russia," he said.

Vershbow stressed the AEGIS ships were stationed in the Mediterranean sea to react to threats coming from the Iranian short-range and medium-range missiles. During the next 10 years the main components of the U.S anti-missile defense architecture will be land bases in Poland and Romania, he said.

"When these bases are created and our missiles of Standard Missile-3 new generation are deployed there, they will ensure security virtually in entire Europe. In conclusion, I can say that within the next 10 years we will become more effective and ensure protection of all our allies in Europe," Vershbow said.

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