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Russia Lauds Missile Defense Computer Exercise With NATO

Russia on Friday said a recent digital tabletop antimissile exercises with NATO met expectations, ITAR-Tass reported (see GSN, April 4).

“During the Lisbon Russian-NATO Council summit in November 2010, the presidents of Russia and NATO countries agreed to continue the practice of missile defense exercises. Such exercises were held in Germany. More than 60 specialists from member countries took part. We think the drills were successful and useful," Russian Defense Ministry international military cooperation head Sergei Koshelev said.

“We will give a joint assessment of the drills” in the near future, the official said.  “We hope that during a Moscow conference on missile defense we will summarize the results and exchange our impressions of the exercises" (ITAR-Tass I, April 6).

The former Cold War rivals agreed at the Lisbon summit to explore areas for potential collaboration on missile defense in Europe. To date they have been unable to reach an agreement largely due to continuing Moscow's worries that U.S. missile interceptors planned for deployment on the continent would be secretly aimed against the Russian strategic nuclear deterrent. The United States and NATO maintain their plans to field a ballistic missile shield are aimed at deterring a strike from the Middle East.

Koshelev said no directives or multilateral statements would be issued at the upcoming Moscow conference on missile defense, ITAR-Tass reported.

"We plan to pass no decisions, neither do we expect the meeting to yield any consensus document," he said (ITAR-Tass II, April 6).

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was slated to take part in a Friday meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, of the foreign ministers to the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The agenda included talks for a joint strategy for addressing U.S. antiballistic missile efforts in Europe, ITAR-Tass reported (ITAR-Tass III, April 6).

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