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Calls for legal guarantees that US missile shield not aimed against Russia 'unacceptable'

Washington still believes that Moscow's demands to provide legal guarantees that the US missile defenses are not directed against Russia are unacceptable, a senior State Department official confirmed on Tuesday.

Giving such guarantees would undermine the possibilities to repel missile threats against the United States and its allies, Frank Rose, assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, told reporters after missile defense discussions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

The official assured that the US missile defenses are not directed against strategic nuclear forces of Russia and China.

However, the US will not undertake a commitment that would eliminate its flexibility in the missile defense sphere, Rose explained. Washington opposes Russia's attempts to set limits on the further development of the US missile defense system, he said.

Moscow is concerned not only about Washington's possibilities in the missile defense sphere, but also the prospects of the further technological development of this system, he said.

Commenting on whether a missile defense system that could be directed against Russia may be created, the US deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear and missile defense policy, Elaine Bunn, said this is technically impossible.

Bunn confirmed that the Russian-US dialogue on missile defenses that was suspended last year at Washington's initiative amid the Ukrainian crisis has not been yet resumed.

[Source: Itar Tass, Washington, 08Apr15]

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