MOSCOW, December 20 (RIA Novosti)
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Russia carried out a successful test of a short-range interceptor missile on Tuesday as a part of its effort to develop a domestic missile defense shield, the Defense Ministry said.
The missile was launched from the Sary-Shagan (Kazakhstan) shooting range, the Ministry’s spokesperson said.
The goal of the test was to confirm the technical characteristics of the missile used by the Defense Ministry’s Space Command.
Russia's Defense Ministry uploaded a video of the missile's launch on its web site.
The test comes a month after the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that if Moscow's participation in the European missile defense project fails, Russia would deploy Iskander tactical missiles in the Kaliningrad Region and halt its disarmament and arms control efforts, including participation in the new strategic arms reduction treaty with the United States.
Russia-NATO missile defense talks are close to deadlock as Moscow is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the U.S.-backed European missile defense program will not be directed against it. Washington, however, refuses to provide the guarantees, saying the shield is directed against threats from Iran and North Korea.
Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on European missile defense system at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. Medvedev proposed a joint system with full-scale interoperability to ensure that the alliance's system will not be directed against Moscow. The military bloc, however, favors two independent systems which exchange information.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.