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NATO: No Backing Down On Missile Shield

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, left, met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Munich.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says the alliance has no intention of stepping back from its plans to establish a missile-defense system in Europe.

The United States and NATO say the system -- including sophisticated radar and interceptor missiles -- is aimed at guarding against a potential missile threat from Iran or another nation.

Russia has strongly opposed the plan, saying the system could be built up to eventually threaten the deterrent power of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

Rasmussen, speaking to reporters at the Munich Security Conference, said NATO’s decision on the system has been made in order to defend the populations of NATO-member countries.

He noted NATO has invited Russia to cooperate in resolving issues connected to the shield, and urged Moscow to embrace the offer.

Rasmussen met in Munich with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Based on reporting from AP and Reuters