WASHINGTON, July 4 (RIA Novosti)
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NATO members have pledged to provide more than $1 billion to ensure the operation of the European missile defense system, Frank A. Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, said on Tuesday.
“At the Lisbon summit, NATO heads of state and government also decided to expand the scope of the NATO Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) program to serve as the command, control, and communications network to support this new capability,” Rose said at the 8th International Conference on Missile Defense in Paris on Tuesday.
“NATO allies have committed to investing over $1 billion for command, control, and communications infrastructure to support NATO missile defense,” he said.
Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile defense system at the Lisbon summit in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.
Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.
Moscow insists it should receive legal guarantees from Washington that its European missile defense shield will not target Russia's strategic nuclear forces.
Russia’s military and political leaders have repeatedly warned their western partners that if talks fail, Moscow may take a series of measures including deployment of Iskander short-range nuclear-capable ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad exclave.
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Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.