NATO’s secretary-general has reiterated his call for closer cooperation with Russia on the issue of the European missile defense.
“Together NATO and Russia should explore cooperation on missile defense – a security roof that will give real security to our people,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a video address posted on NATO website.
“I believe this is the most significant step we can take to integrate Russia more fully in Euro-Atlantic security. It would demonstrate on a daily basis that we cooperate and exchange information to counter the rising threat of missile proliferation,” he said.
Bulgaria has repeatedly stated that it supports plans for taking part in a new US missile defence system in Europe, playing down Russian fears about the system.
Meanwhile neighboring Romania announced that it would host interceptor missiles as part of a US missile defense system on its soil.
The planned deployment in Bulgaria and Romania comes after US President Barack Obama scrapped plans for a radar and interceptor missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland, which Russia fiercely opposed as a national security threat and a blow on its nuclear deterrent.
The plans have drawn sharp criticism from Moscow, where officials described the earlier project to base radar and missiles in the Czech Republic and Poland as a threat to Russia.
Washington says the missile shield is designed to protect against short- and medium-range missiles from Iran, and is not directed against Russia.