Medvedev: Russia, NATO must reach missile deal

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Moscow: In a state-of-the-nation speech on November 30 that dwelled on overcoming the persistent weaknesses sapping Russia, President Dmitry Medvedev suggested that failure to reach agreement on missile defense cooperation in Europe could set off a new arms race in the decade ahead.

Those dark remarks ap-peared aimed as much at his generals as at the West. Medvedev has indicated that he wants to bend the nation’s resources toward diversifying the economy rather than restoring the military-industrial complex of old, and the Kremlin has come to see arms control as in its own interests.

Medvedev did not mention the still-unratified nuclear arms agreement with the United States, but he spoke approvingly of a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, on November 20, during which he discussed the eventual goal of Russian cooperation with NATO on a European missile defense system.

Medvedev, also urged the European Union to help Russia enter the World Trade Organization and called for closer partnerships and economic ties with the United States.

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