European missile shield deployment will proceed - U.S. official

PanARMENIAN.Net - The U.S. ambassador to NATO on Friday, Dec 2, dismissed recent expressions of outrage from Moscow over proposed missile defenses in Europe, saying that the NATO deployment will proceed “whether Russia likes it or not.”

The ambassador, Ivo Daalder, said the United States was well aware that “there are significant forces within Russia” that believe that the alliance’s system of radars and interceptors could blunt Moscow’s own arsenal of missiles, and thus undermine Russia’s strategic deterrent.

Mr. Daalder said he would meet officials from Moscow at NATO headquarters in Brussels next week to explain - once again - that the alliance shield is designed solely to defend against a potential missile attack from Iran.

“Whether Russia likes it or not, we are about defending NATO-European territory against a growing ballistic missile threat. We will adapt the timing and the details to that threat, which is why the focus of our joint effort ought to be about how to figure out how to reduce that threat rather than trying to threaten and retaliate for a deployment that has nothing to do with Russia,” Mr. Daalder said, The New York Times reported.

Last week, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened that Russia would deploy its own missiles and that it could withdraw from the New Start nuclear arms reduction treaty if the United States proceeds with its plans for a missile-defense system in Europe.

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