The approaches of the Russian side to the possible interaction on missile defense will be presented at a session of the Russia-NATO Council at the level of foreign ministers in Brussels on Dec. 4, a commentary of the Russian Foreign Ministry representative Alexander Lukashevich says.
"In the framework of the continuing dialogue on missile defense, partners will be informed about Russian approaches to possible engagement in this sphere with an emphasis on the need for documenting legal guarantees that the deployed antimissile weapons will not work against our strategic potential," the commentary says.
Lukashevich stressed that such guarantees should be based "on objective criteria permitting us to evaluate the conformity of the future missile defense system to the declared objective of countering limited missile threats the sources of which lie beyond Europe."
At the session, the sides are also expected to exchange opinions about the situation in Afghanistan, particularly in light of growing threats of terrorism and drug trafficking from that country that affect the security of all member-states of the Russia-NATO Council and also considering the plans of the alliance to curtail international military presence in Afghanistan by 2014, the commentary says.
"We believe that such actions should be compensated by efforts to increase the combat capability of Afghan armed forces that they could independently control security in their country, effectively resist extremist groupings and drug crime," Lukashevich noted.
Meanwhile, positive experience has been accumulated in cooperation on resisting common risks and threats - terrorism, piracy, natural and man-made disasters and Afghanistan, the commentary says.
"However, serious differences remain over fundamental issues affecting the vital security interests of Russia, primarily concerning the plans of the United States and NATO to develop the missile defense system in Europe, the continuation of the process of NATO enlargement, and the observance of norms of international law by the alliance," the commentary says.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will represent Russia at the session of the Russia-NATO Council.
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