Bulgaria 'Sorry' for NATO, Russia Dissent on Missile Defense

Defense | December 8, 2011, Thursday // 17:49|  views

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen (R) with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) at the start of the NATO Foreign Ministers council at NATO headquarters in Brussels. EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov has expressed regrets over the lack of progress in the talks between NATO and Russia on the creation of a joint missile defense system in Europe.

Mladenov took part in the NATO-Russia Council during the annual meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Alliance in Brussels.

Even though it was formally invited to join the US / NATO missile shield in Europe at the NATO Summit in Lisbon in November 2010, Russia has failed to strike a deal with the Western Alliance on a joint missile defense system.

It has thus remained opposed to the US / NATO project and has indicated it would seek to create its own missile shield.

"Whatever the differences between NATO and Russia, however, it is crucial that dialogue continue, and the very fact that we are sitting at this table and discussing is positive," Bulgaria's top diplomat said at the NATO-Russia Council meeting.

Mladenov has emphasized that Russia and NATO are involved in active partnerships in many spheres, noting especially proposals to create two joint centers for information exchange – between the two missile defense systems and for joint drills in 2012.

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Tags: Russia, NATO, missile defense, missile shield, USA, Nikolay Mladenov, Foreign Minister, NATO-Russia Council


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