Putin strong on missile defence

Last updated 15:34 20/06/2012
Putin
ANDRES STAPFF/ Reuters
FORWARD TOGETHER: Vladimir Putin says the US and Russia must work together on the shield missile defence.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated Moscow's strong opposition to the US missile defence system and continues to insist the only way forward is joint development of the shield.

He said today that President Barack Obama's re-election would not end the dispute.

"I think that the missile defence issue will not be solved regardless of whether Obama is elected or not," he told reporters at the end of Group of 20 summit in Mexico.

"I think that something can radically change only in the case if the US agrees with our proposal which says that Russia, Europe and US were equal participants of this process," said Putin.

Moscow says the interceptors that the United States and NATO are deploying as part of the system will be able to destroy Russian warheads in flight by about 2018, upsetting the post-Cold War balance of power.

Washington maintains that the missile defence system, which is to be deployed in four phases by about 2020, is intended to counter a potential threat from Iran and poses no risk to Russia.

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- Reuters

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