NATO Chief Dismisses Russian Missile-Shield Warnings

world | May 11, 2012 | By RFE/RL 

BRUSSELS -- NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has dismissed warnings from Moscow regarding NATO's plan to construct a missile-defense system in Europe.

Senior Russian officials have recently said that negotiations with the Unites States over the U.S.-led missile shield had reached a "dead end," and that Russia might deploy missiles in Kaliningrad, an exclave bordering NATO member states, in response to the system.

Speaking to RFE/RL on May 11 in Brussels, Rasmussen called the Russian statements "negotiation tactics."

He also expressed regret, saying the statements run counter to a NATO-Russia agreement reached two years ago at a summit in Lisbon for the two sides to develop a "strategic partnership," including over issues such as missile defense.

Russia says the NATO missile shield could threaten its national security.