NATO, Russia Still at Odds over Missile Shield

Posted December 8th, 2011 at 7:20 am (UTC-5)
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NATO foreign ministers failed to ease Russian fears over a proposed missile defense shield in Europe.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday the sides still have differences over the proposal but plan to keep talking. He also rejected Moscow's claims that the shield could be used against Russia.

Rasmussen spoke following a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Brussels.

Russia warned Wednesday that the U.S. and NATO were forcing a new arms race by deploying a missile defense shield in Europe.

Last week, Russia officially opened a new anti-missile radar station in the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad.

Russia says it is willing to cooperate with the West and work together to share technology and jointly build a missile defense system — a proposal NATO has already rejected. Russian Chief of Staff General Nikolai Makarov questioned why NATO will not meet Russia halfway and suggested the alliance's refusal means they have something to gain from it.

The two-day session will also take a look at efforts in Afghanistan and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the war-torn country in 2014. The meeting will also focus on the ongoing NATO mission in Kosovo.