MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti)
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A compromise with Moscow on U.S. missile defense system in Europe is possible despite the current deadlock, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow said on Thursday.
Several prominent Russian researchers and military experts have recently supported NATO’s claims that the alliance’s plans are not targeting Russia, Vershbow said.
Proposals put forth by these experts and researchers would help Moscow and Brussels find common ground on the matter, Vershbow said at a Russia-NATO conference in Moscow.
The United States plans to deploy elements of its missile defense shield in Eastern Europe by 2020, allegedly to prevent threats from rogue states running their own missile programs such as Iran.
But Moscow said its own missiles also fall under the shield, which threatens the strategic parity between Russia and NATO. Negotiations on the missile shield were stalled in recent months, as the alliance began the program’s implementation and Russia threatened to deploy its own ballistic missiles on European Union’s border.
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Iran has been a central Russian ally in the Middle East, despite considerable tensions between the two. But by renewing dialogue with the West, the new Iranian leadership has chosen another direction. The shifting terrain in the region creates new strategic, political and economic challenges for Russia.