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Russia wants equal role in NATO missile shield: Minister


BERLIN (AFP): Russia is open to talks on NATO's planned European missile shield but wants to play an equal role in its development, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Anatoly Serdyukov told the German weekly Der Spiegel.

“The most important thing for us is firstly to define what are the real threats to Europe, and secondly is to see Russia put on an equal footing as a participant,” Serdyukov said in an interview to be published in full on Monday.

“It is only thus can an anti-missile defence system be put in place which satisfies everyone.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is to attend next month's NATO summit in Lisbon and said Tuesday that Moscow was prepared to discuss the Alliance's proposed anti-missile shield.

Previous US plans to deploy an anti-missile system in former Soviet satellite states in eastern Europe angered the Kremlin, but NATO now hopes to ease these doubts by including Moscow in the planning of a broader system.

Washington insists the shield is to fend off threats from "rogue states" like Iran and is not aimed at undermining Russia's nuclear deterrent.

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