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NATO, Russia Discuss Missile Defense


NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said several NATO members had vowed concrete financial contributions.
NATO and Russia ministers have begun talks on the alliance's plans to build a missile-defense shield in Europe.

Foreign ministers from the 28-member alliance, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, speaking before the meeting, said the alliance was committed to addressing Russia's concerns about the missle-defense shield.

Rasmussen reiterated that the shield would protect Europe from missiles fired from rogue nations and would not "threaten" Russia.

Russia suspects the shield will neutralize its nuclear deterrent.

On April 18, NATO ministers discussed how to finance Afghanistan's security forces once NATO completes its withdrawal from the country in 2014.

Rasmussen said several NATO members had pledged concrete financial contributions.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters