RF, NATO can agree on ABM by spring 2012 summit – Rasmussen.

6/7 Tass 355

BRUSSELS, July 6 (Itar-Tass) — Russia and NATO can reach agreement on missile defence by the 2012 spring Alliance summit, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.

After the session of the Russia-NATO Council in Sochi of July 4, Rasmussen said really Russia and NATO could reach agreement on missile defence by the Alliance’s spring 2012 summit.

The NATO Secretary-General said he is hopeful that along the Russia-NATO Council could gather for a summit to reach mutual understanding.

Commenting on guarantees that missile defence is not targeted against Russia, Rasmussen recalled that in 1997 Russia and NATO had signed the Founding Act in which they spelled out bilateral obligations on no-use of arms against each other.

Thus, Rasmussen said there is no need to sign any additional documents in this aspect.

The 2012 spring NATO summit will take place in the United States.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday that Russia and NATO had failed to agree on sectoral missile defence, but there are other possibilities to agree.

“Russia and NATO fail to agree on a sectoral approach. Our partners from the Alliance say they have obligations under the Washington Mutual Defence Treaty. These obligations cannot be delegated to anyone,” Lavrov said.

“We interpret this as reality. However, we believe that there are possibilities to work jointly,” Lavrov stressed.

Rasmussen said Russia and NATO would be able to improve missile defence cooperation.

At his meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev after Monday’s session of the Russia-NATO Council at the level of permanent representatives, Rasmussen said cooperation between the Alliance and Russia is the unique way that both parties should follow.

The NATO Secretary-General said the parties were capable of doing much more in the field of missile defence. At least 30 countries all around the world have or try to acquire missile technology that is why the countries should develop their own potentials.

Earlier, opening the Russia-NATO Council session, Rasmussen said NATO hopes to reach agreement with Russia on European missile defence at the Alliance summit in Chicago due to take place next year.

Rasmussen said he hopes that NATO and Russia would meet in less than a year at the NATO summit in Chicago to reach agreement on European missile defence, which would ensure security of NATO countries and Russia and make this system more effective.

NATO cannot create a system in the 24 hours and even in months, he said.

The Secretary-General stressed that NATO and Russia would intensify cooperation in missile defence. He expressed hope that both parties would achieve real results at the Chicago meeting.

Despite the serious disagreements, the sides intend to continue the dialogue on missile defence and search for mutually advantageous solutions.

“We are committed to implementing the decisions of the Lisbon summit when the Russia-NATO Council leaders stated their intention to build strategic partnership on the basis of equality, predictability and transparency, and on the basis of the principle of security indivisibility. We are committed to implementing these decisions,” Lavrov stressed.

“We want equal security to be guaranteed to all Euro-Atlantic states no matter they are members or not of military alliances. This is the essence of the initiative put forth by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who has proposed to sign a new European security treaty,” the minister noted.

“The development of events convinces us that this initiative continues to be relevant. To this end, we discussed European missile defence.” “The project is directly linked to the security level in Euro-Atlantic states. We’d like to make it a joint project, which would help radically change the rules of game.” “This would be a real step towards creating a common space of peace, security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic region,” the minister pointed out.

“We believe that it is very important to solve certain problems. Firstly, all participants would guarantee that missile defence is not aimed against any of its participants. Secondly, we believe that it is necessary to work out the criteria, which would allow us to assess how the missile defence system being created by NATO in Europe would conform to the goals of the project, i.e. to ward off threats, which can come from the Euro-Atlantic zone,” Lavrov said.

“And of course, it is important to ensure the equal participation of all members of the Russia-NATO Council in working out concepts and an architecture of future European missile defence, to agree on confidence-building measures and transparency during the whole period of our work,” the Russian foreign minister concluded.

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