Moscow is prepared to restore contacts on the missile defense issue both with the U.S. and NATO, Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir, the first deputy head of the main operations department of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, said on Oct. 11.
"The Russian side is ready for resuming contacts on the missile defense issue both in a bilateral Russia-U.S. format and in a multilateral Russia-NATO format on condition that the goal will be reaching agreements that take into account the interests of each side to the fullest extent," Poznikhir said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry invites any party concerned for cooperation on the issue if "its aim is to make the world a little bit clearer of mutual misunderstanding and threats," he added.
The effort to conclude a new deal on missile defense today is much more challenging than several years ago, the official said. "Unfortunately, the U.S. side sought to use the previous attempts to hold dialogue on missile defense, as we understand now, only as a cover. The partners were shown that there was the readiness to discuss with Russia the most acute issues, while simultaneously the plans of creating a missile shield were fulfilled."
"One should at least respect partners at talks rather than treat them as whipping boys," the official said.
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