Russia and US should start dialogue on missile defences

Concerning further coordination of efforts in developing missile defences Russia and the US should open a dialogue, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov told journalists on Friday. He emphasised that big hopes for solving this question are pinned on a meeting between the Russian and US presidents, which is to focus on missile defences among other matters. Klebanov noted that if the United States unilaterally alters the terms of the 1972 ABM Treaty, this "may seriously destabilise the situation in the world". According to him, the treaty in its day created conditions for normal developments all over the world. The vice-premier made an assurance that Russia is well equipped to give an answer to a US withdrawal from the ABM Treaty. "This reply was anticipated earlier, when these systems were set up," he said. Klebanov emphasised that the reply is not costly and is efficient enough, but a better bet would be not to bring the situation to a head.

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