Russia seriously concerned about U.S. missile defense plans in Europe - Russian Security Council Secretary

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said Russia is seriously concerned about the U.S. missile defense plans in Europe.

"I won' deny that there are some unresolved issues between our countries. Specifically, we are seriously concerned about the U.S. plans to create a missile defense system in Europe, including on the territory of our neighbor, Poland," Patrushev said during a meeting with Stanislaw Koziej, the head of the Polish National Security Bureau.

"I hope our Polish partners will understand our arguments and assist in the provision of guarantees that the missile defense system deployed in Europe will not be targeted against Russia," Patrushev said.

The Russian Defense Ministry is holding a conference on European security issues in May. Patrushev said the Polish defense minister has confirmed his participation in the conference.

"I hope every party will present its arguments there and agreements can be reached," he said.

"At least we should continue the dialogue and communicate each party's concerns to our partners," Patrushev said referring to the differences on the issue of missile defense systems in Europe.

Patrushev told reporters after meeting with Koziej that Russia is ready to develop interaction with Poland.

"I am confident that our main tasks are to strengthen confidence between Russia and Poland, increase the effectiveness of cooperation between our special services, and look for mutually acceptable solutions aimed at ensuring stability at all levels. I want to assure my Polish partner of our readiness to continue this work," Patrushev said.

Koziej, in turn, told reporters after meeting with Patrushev Poland that he believes it is important to deploy on its territory elements of the NATO missile defense systems and also intends to create its national missile defense system.

"We are trying to correctly understand Russia's concerns about these issues. However, we are also trying to present our proof that the missile defense system is a significant security component," Koziej said.

"Naturally, Russia has its own arguments in its negotiations with the United States. We can't make statements on behalf of the United States. However, we are a NATO member," he said.

"Poland is very interested in the creation of the NATO missile defense system. This system should promote the protection of the territories of the NATO countries, including the territory of Poland," he said.

"Poland plans to expand its missile defense system by equipping our armed forces with missile defense systems. The Polish armed forces do not have such capabilities at this time," Koziej said.

Patrushev said Koziej has accepted the invitation to take part in the international meeting organized by the Security Council in Vladivostok in July.

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