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Russian Army Chief, General Nikolai Makarov, Visits the United States for Talks About Missile Defense Plans

RIA Novosti. Igor Zarembo 00:28 10/07/2012

MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti)

The chief of Russia's Armed Forces General Staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, will arrive on Tuesday to the United States on a three-day working visit focusing on U.S. missile defense plans, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“Gen. Nikolai Makarov will pay a working visit to the United States on July 10-13,” a spokesman for the Defense Ministry said on Monday.

“He will hold talks with U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey,” the official said. “The talks will focus on the discussion of the U.S. missile defense plans.”

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on July 6 that Gen. Makarov would “make yet another attempt to explain [Russia’s] stance on missile defense at least at a chief of staff level."

He warned that Russia would not ignore the deployment of the elements of the U.S. missile defense in Europe and would respond adequately to any threats to its security.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.

Moscow insists it should receive legal guarantees from Washington that its European missile defense shield will not target Russia's strategic nuclear forces.

The agenda of the talks between Makarov and his U.S. counterpart will also include the discussion of bilateral military cooperation, and joint assessment of regional and global security.

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