Russia to Attend NATO Summit for Missile Defense Shield

Russia will be attending the NATO summit next month in hopes of acquiring compensation over the Europe-wide missile defense shield, which shows softness in its standpoint after France and Germany encouraged it, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

At present, the strain on Russia’s relation with the West lies solely on the fact of security. It was the key point of discussion in the talks between Presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Medvedev and German Chancellor Angela Merkel held from Monday and Tuesday in Deauville, France.

Medvedev later announced after the talks that he intended to go to the Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon. He said that this would help in “compromises and the development of dialogue ”between Russia and the NATO alliance.

Russia has taken careful steps in dealing with the US offers of collaboration on missile defense. They said they wanted more say in the evaluation of missile threats and other planning responses.

The main concern for Russia is that this shield may be utilized as a counter to its own long-range nuclear arsenal – which in return would weaken its deterrent and leave it vulnerable.

The Russian President spoke to Sarkozy and Merkel and said that Russia was willing to cooperate but still needed to know some more in relation to NATO seeing Russia in which form when it joins the system, what it was to bring, how an agreement may be reached, and how they will proceed ahead.

The 28-country alliance is to meet on November 19, in Lisbon and uncover a new strategic plan for NATO.

Over a dinner on Monday, the three Presidents from Merkel, Sarkozy and Medvedev discussed NATO and other issues like the Middle East peace process and about IRAN. On Tuesday, they called on Iran to acquiesce with the United Nations Security Council and the IAEA.

According to a French presidential source, the shield had been designed as a defense from Iran and not Russia. Later, a senior NATO official said in Paris on Monday that the purpose of the meeting was cooperate with Russia so that NATO and it could work together.