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Medvedev Wants Russia 'Armed' To Counter U.S. Missile Shield

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at a meeting of top military officials Moscow on March 20.
Outgoing President Dmitry Medvedev is calling for Russia's military to be "fully prepared" and "fully armed" by 2017-18 to counter U.S. plans to erect a missile-defense system in Europe.

Medvedev also told a meeting of Russia's top military officials that Russia "isn't shutting the door to dialogue" with the United States and NATO.

The United States and NATO say the missile-defense plan is aimed at protecting against potential missile threats from Iran.

NATO has said it hopes to cooperate with Russia to calm Moscow's concerns about the missile shield, but NATO has rejected a Russian proposal to run the system jointly.

Russian officials have expressed concerns that the U.S.-led shield could grow powerful enough to undermine Russia's nuclear deterrent.

With AP and Interfax reports