WASHINGTON, July 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia wants to be a real partner in the European missile-defence system rather than a “passive observer” watching American operations, like “a tourist visiting a planetarium,” the Washington Post cited Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s special envoy on missile defence. Rogozin is currently in the United States for missile defence talks with representatives from the Obama administration.
The missile-defence system should be proportional to the threat, which the U.S. says is chiefly from Iran, Rogozin said. If so, in his words, then why would the U.S. need to deploy advanced anti-missile systems late in this decade, at the end the four-phase project, that seem more suited to stopping Russian than Iranian attacks.
According to Rogozin, the problem is that the two sides cannot cooperate unless they trust each other, and that trust cannot come without cooperation. Russia wanted to “break the vicious circle” and get “inside the system,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Russia would like a formal, legally binding assurance that the missile defence system couldn’t be used against its forces, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who is also taking part in the talks, told the Washington Post. But, in his words, the U.S. administration was unlikely to provide such a treaty-like document for political reasons.