Russian General Staff chief wishes to discuss missile defense with U.S. counterpart

Russian General Staff Chief Gen. of the Army Valery Gerasimov has invited U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey to Moscow to discuss missile defense.

"I have invited my colleague, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, with whom we have a working relationship of mutual respect, to visit Moscow this year. Missile defense will be a subject of our discussion," Gerasimov told foreign military attaches in Moscow on Wednesday.

He said Russia and NATO "had achieved good results" in a number of cooperation areas.

There are also some disagreements, such as NATO enlargement, NATO military infrastructure built close to Russian borders and missile defense deployment, Gerasimov said.

"We do not question the NATO right to have a missile defense umbrella but we cannot agree with the lessening of the Russian deterrence potential," Gerasimov said.

The time has come for a serious conversation about European security, he said.

"Hence, we plan to hold an international conference in Moscow in May. We have invited the defense ministers from Europe, the United States, Canada and other countries and chiefs of international organizations - NATO, the EU, the CSTO and the OSCE," Gerasimov said.

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