"This is not the first time we are being told, 'This is not directed against you,' and then end up with problems on our hands"© RIA Novosti. Aleksei Kudenko
- Russia's NATO envoy expects progress in missile shield talks by July
- Ukraine's role in European missile defense not yet discussed – NATO chief
- U.S. confident on missile defense work with Moscow
A formal agreement guaranteeing that NATO and Russian missile defense systems are not directed against each other is the key to cooperation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.
"It is not intentions but capabilities that count," he said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio.
"This is not the first time we are being told, 'This is not directed against you,' and then end up with problems on our hands," he said.
Moscow would like to have legal guarantees before going ahead with a joint missile-defense system, Lavrov said.
"Needless to say, for our part, we are ready to provide such guarantees," Lavrov said.
Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so called Euro missile defense system at the Lisbon summit in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems, while Russia favors a joint system.
Moscow's stance on European missile defense is that NATO defends the territory of NATO member states while Russia defends its own territory, Lavrov said.
"NATO's [control] button will always be the U.S. button. The same goes for our button: We will have sole control of our button," the Russian minister said.
MOSCOW, March 2 (RIA Novosti)
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
Image Galleries: North Pole: Living on the Top of the World
Infographics: Yakhont Medium-Range Anti-Ship Missile
Cartoons: Polar Explorer Day
The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.