CSTO countries could merge air defense systems
- Written by Interfax
MOSCOW, Nov 25 (Interfax). The member-states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plan to unify the potential of their regional air defense systems, but the establishment of a common missile defense system has not been discussed so far, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha told journalists in Moscow on Thursday.
"There are plans to unify our regional air defense systems into a common system. The issue of a common missile defense system has not so far been discussed," Bordyuzha said when asked whether a common missile defense system could be set up within the CSTO in the context of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's Wednesday statement on Russia's steps in response to the deployment of U.S. missile defense elements in Europe.
Russia and Belarus have already set up a regional air defense system, and a Russian-Armenian regional air defense system should be set up soon, Bordyuzha said. "There is also an agreement to set up a Russian-Kazakh air defense system, which provides the possibility for other CSTO countries to join it," he said.
Taking more questions, Bordyuzha said Medvedev made his statement after Russia had tried for a long time to persuade NATO and the U.S. to hold a constructive dialogue on these matters, with relevant agreements on missile defense legally formalized. However, he said, there was not even a hint of the other side's desire to conclude such agreements.
"I can state that we have been unable to engage NATO in a constructive dialogue. There is not even a desire to consider such a possibility," he said.