Russia Agrees to Help NATO Missile Defense Shield Plan

Politics » DEFENSE | November 20, 2010, Saturday // 19:01| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Russia Agrees to Help NATO Missile Defense Shield Plan Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (C) attends the NATO-Russia Council during the second day of the Lisbon Nato Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by BGNES

Russia has accepted NATO's invitation to join the European missile defense shield, the alliance's Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced, the BBC reported.

"For the first time the two sides will be co-operating to defend themselves," Rasmussen said, as cited by the BBC.

Earlier on Saturday, the NATO chief said that the meeting on Saturday between NATO leaders and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is a "turning point" in the relations between Moscow and the Western alliance.

For the first time in history NATO has explicitly declared that it poses no threat to Russia, according to its new Strategic Concept adopted at the two-day Lisbon Summit.

It is the first NATO summit Russia has attended since the Russia-Georgia war two years ago.

NATO members had earlier agreed on a programme to develop and deploy defences against ballistic missile attack on their territories, the BBC informs.

Rasmussen said he had extended an offer to Russia to co-operate on the programme and was "very pleased that Medvedev has taken up that offer." The NATO chief said this agreement was of "real political importance".

He added that there would be an exchange of information on the threats to European skies and the two sides "could conceivably co-operate on shooting down an incoming missile."

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Tags: NATO, Russia, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Dmitry Medvedev, missile defense shield
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