Saturday, April 30, 2011

Russia ready to unfold anti-missile umbrella over eastern Europe

MOSCOW, April 29 (Xinhua) -- Russia is ready to provide the bordering countries with the anti-missile defense (AMD) system in the frame of the joint Russian-European system, Commander of Russian Space Forces Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said on Friday.

According to Ostapenko, Russia is ready to deploy a protective anti-missile umbrella over its sector of responsibility which includes Eastern Europe as well as Black, Baltic and Barents seas.

"We are in possession of military, technological and scientific possibilities for that," the commander was quoted by local media as saying.

He said that Russia would work out the design of the AMD system together with NATO experts. Such a system should be run by a joint mission control center, Ostapenko noted.

He also said that Russian space forces would put into service the S-500 and other systems capable of destroying hyper-sound unmanned planes and non-nuclear missiles.

Ostapenko stressed that no part of the Russian AMD would be deployed outside the national territory but suggested that Russian sector could be protected by the other countries' defense systems.

Next week, Russia and the United States are going to hold consultations in Brussels concerning the AMD issues. Moscow demands the NATO to guarantee that Western AMD would not be aimed against Russian targets.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called Euro missile shield during the Russia-NATO Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

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