Russia offers integrated global missile shield

8 Jul 2007, 2201 hrs IST,PTI

MOSCOW: Russia on Sunday offered a global integrated missile shield for the whole of Europe as an alternative to the US National Missile Defence (NMD), seen as a threat to the country.

Proposing the shield, Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, widely seen as likely successor of President Vladimir Putin said Moscow's proposal would include both the United States and European countries, including neutral states like Austria, Finland and Sweden He said all participating countries in the programme will have equal access to the system's control.

"We are proposing to create a single missile defence system for all participants with equal access to the system's control," Ivanov told the state-run Rossia channel.

He said that the Russian proposal provides pooling efforts to create missile defence data exchange centres in Moscow and Brussels, headquarters of NATO and the European Union.

Ivanov did not rule out that under the project Russia could share some of its "highly sensitive" technologies with the West to generate trust in thwarting rouge missile threat.

He also recalled Putin's proposals to the US for the joint use of Soviet early warning Qabala radar in Azerbaijan, if Washington gave up its plans to deploy elements of its European missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.