TEMPO.CO, Moskow – Russian officials said on Wednesday that the United States had not done enough to address their concerns about an anti-missile shield it is deploying in Europe.
Their remarks suggested increasing strain on the missile defense system, especially after Vladimir Putin returned to the Russian presidency last year.
Russian officials said there are no signs of major progress despite a visit from Tom Donilon--Barack Obama's national security adviser. Donilon met Putin in Moscow, Monday.
"There is still time to search for a solution to this problem, but it requires political will, and so far this has not been apparent in sufficient measure from the American side," Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said at a discussion with Russian policy analysts.
Last month, the Pentagon said it would station additional missile interceptors in Alaska as a response to North Korea's threats. At the same time, it forgoes a new type of interceptor that would have been deployed in Europe as part of the shield.
Ryabkov also emphasized Russia's demand for "firm legal guarantees" that the shield, consisting of interceptor missiles and radar systems, will be completed by 2020 and will not be used to shoot down its missiles.
Anatoly Antonov, Deputy Defense Minister of Russia, said that Russia needed binding guarantees about the US shield because there are risks that they could change their plans in the future.
"The Americans always say, 'Forget about your guarantees - let's start cooperating, and as we cooperate you'll see how harmless our system is,'" Antonov said. "We are not prepared to do things that way."
REUTERS | ABDUL MANAN