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Russian military to counter NATO missile system: Medvedev

21 Mar 2012 - 8:59

Islam Times - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says that his country is preparing its armed forces to counter any threats posed by NATO’s missile system.

Medvedev made the statement during a meeting with Russia's top military brass, adding that this did not mean Moscow would halt dialogue with Washington.

"By 2017-2018 we must be fully prepared, fully armed," the Russian president said on Tuesday.

He added that Russia's defense spending is expected to rise to 2.8 percent of its gross domestic product by 2018.

Moscow has called for sharing control of any missile system, saying the aim of the so-called shield is to encircle Russia. Washington, however, refuses to share the shield control with any third party.

In return, Russia has threatened to aim a new generation of missiles at European military targets and deploy its own missile interceptors.

US-led NATO has claimed that the missile system is planned to thwart possible attacks from 'rogue' states, and it will go ahead with the plan despite Russian concerns.

However, Moscow says it wants legal guarantees that the system will not be aimed at Russia.