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NATO: Europe Faces Missile Threat, Moscow Appears to Reject Cooperation


The NATO allies have agreed that Europe faces a missile threat and have backed a U.S. offer to cooperate with Russia on defense against such weapons.

An alliance spokesman, James Appathurai, says all 26 NATO countries agreed that Europe faces the threat, noting that some called it a growing danger. He spoke to reporters in Brussels after top U.S. officials briefed representatives of alliance countries and Russia on a U.S. plan to deploy a controversial missile defense system in Europe.

But Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, in comments in the Siberian city of Yekaterinburg, said he sees no reason for discussing such cooperation. In a separate interview with London's Financial Times newspaper, Ivanov said such states as Iran and North Korea will not soon have intercontinental ballistic missiles and said the U.S. plan must be aimed at Russia.

Some NATO countries have urged a broadening of the plan to cover members in southern Europe, such as Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria and parts of Romania, not covered under the proposed shield.

The United States has insisted the system is aimed at defense against what it calls rogue states such as Iran and North Korea.

The proposed U.S. shield would include 10 missile interceptors in Poland and radar scanners in the Czech Republic.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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