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Russia Says U.S., NATO Must Change Position On Missile Shield


Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Grushko has called for the United States and NATO to change their position on a missile-defense system planned for Europe.

Grushko is quoted as saying continued backing of the missile shield would make pointless upcoming talks on the issue between the Kremlin and officials from NATO member countries.

On April 19, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is scheduled to meet in Brussels with his NATO counterparts, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

One of the most contentious issues is expected to be NATO's plan to deploy the missile shield, which U.S. officials have said is necessary because of Iran's nuclear program.

Kremlin officials have charged that the system would allow NATO to disable Russia's nuclear deterrent.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and ITAR-TASS
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