Russia hopes signals over missile defense issues be heard by NATO

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Participants of the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago should get and understand the signals sent by Moscow over the missile defense issues, Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

"All signals from Moscow, including those made by General Makarov, were sent to the Chicago summit participants, so they should understand the situation is very serious and change their mind by taking into account Russia's arguments," spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a news briefing here.

During a recent international conference on missile defense issues held in Moscow, Russian Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov warned that Russia could carry out pre-emptive strikes on future NATO missile defense installations in Europe to protect its security.

"This is an important warning signal that, in case the system is developing..., Russia will have to undertake adequate military- technical measures to protect our strategic forces," Lukashevich said.

The spokesman also quoted the outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev by saying that Moscow did not refuse a dialogue but wanted to be heard.

"We are ready for practical cooperation, but with the assumption that the reliable legal guarantees will be given that the system is not targeting (Russia)," Lukashevich said.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of the U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities near its borders and wanted legally binding guarantees from the U.S. and NATO that the missile defense shield is not targeting Russia.

The NATO Summit will be held from May 20-21 in Chicago, the U.S. state of Illinois.

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