TOYAKO, Japan (Reuters) - The United States will continue its dialogue with Russia on a missile defence shield, the White House said on Wednesday after Moscow warned it would use military means if the shield were deployed close to its borders.
President George W. Bush has told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that the United States seeks “strategic cooperation on preventing missiles from rogue nations, like Iran, from threatening our friends and allies,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Japan, where the leaders are attending a G8 summit.
“We want to design a system between the United States, Russia and Europe, with everyone participating as equal partners,” Johndroe said.
“We will continue to have a dialogue with the Russians on this matter as Presidents Bush and Medvedev reaffirmed this week in their meeting in Japan,” he said.
The United States signed a pact on Tuesday to build part of a missile defence shield in the Czech Republic that would place a tracking radar southwest of Prague.
The Russian Foreign Ministry, in a statement reminiscent of Cold War rhetoric, said: “If the real deployment of an American strategic missile defence shield begins close to our borders, then we will be forced to react not with diplomatic methods, but with military-technical methods.”
Reporting by Tabassum Zakaria; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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