Russia insists on U.S. missile defense guarantees

Russia expects that, following Barack Obama's reelection as the U.S. president, Washington will take into account Russia's concerns about missile defense, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said at the international conference Nuclear Weapons and International Security in the 21st Century on Thursday.

"As regards a missile defense system and the assurances that it is not targeted against Russia, we do not trust words. Gorbachev trusted, but we don't," Rogozin said.

"We are bad guys," he joked.

"We need guarantees, better put on paper, that the missile defense system being built in Europe is aimed against short- and medium-range missiles," he said.

"For the time being, the declared parameters of this system are such that it can intercept Russian heavy missiles," he said.

"The missile defense system may be not against us but it is about us," he said.

U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said on Wednesday that Washington could not give written guarantees that the missile defense system is not targeted against Russia because it believes the threats emanating from Iran are unpredictable.

"We don't know how the threat in Iran will develop. That has nothing to do with Russia. We can't constrain our military forces against a threat because the threat is a variable, it is not a constant," McFaul said in an interview with Interfax on Wednesday.

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