Resolving missile shield issue to bring Russia, U.S. closer – Lavrov

Missile Defense Control Room file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, April 29, 2013) Achieving agreements on the missile shield issue between Russia and the United States will bring the Russian-U.S. ties to a new allied level like during World War II, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“We are convinced that doing it together – doing it together with the United States and the Europeans – would not only be the most efficient way to try to find a response to the threat of missile proliferation, but it would bring our relationship with NATO – the Russia and NATO relationship – to a qualitatively new level. It will be really a step closer to us becoming allies again like we used to be during World War II,” Lavrov said in an interview with Foreign Policy magazine posted on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday.

Lavrov said that Moscow and Washington were capable of developing a joint missile shield to protect the Euro-Atlantic region from outside threats.

“The situation so far is in a deadlock. The U.S. and NATO, which supported the U.S., believe that the system which is proposed by the United States is flawless and it cannot be changed an inch. However, the Government Account Office (GAO) in the United States Congress recently produced a report which challenges the proposed configuration of this missile defense in Europe,” the Russian foreign minister said.

Lavrov said that this did not mean that Russian experts agreed completely with the GAO report but indicated that there were different opinions on how to handle the missile proliferation problem even inside the U.S.

“So we are reiterating our openness to discussing this issue with the United States, provided we put our brains together and provided our intellectual ability is not questioned,” Lavrov said.