Russia Seeks U.S. ‘Legal Guarantees’ on Europe Missile Shield

Russia told NATO at a meeting today that it wants “legal guarantees” the U.S. and its allies won’t use their planned missile shield in Europe to guard against the Russian nuclear arsenal, RIA-Novosti reported.

Russia’s strategic nuclear forces should be off-limits for the system, the state-run news service cited Russian Chief of Staff General Nikolai Makarov as saying in Brussels.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry yesterday expressed concern about a May 3 agreement between the U.S. and Romania to station interceptor missiles at a former Romanian air force base. It said the Obama administration was pursuing plans to set up its anti-missile system in Europe without accepting an offer of Russian participation.

Russian leaders complain that the shield, which the U.S. says is needed to guard against so-called rogue states such as Iran, will blunt their country’s nuclear capability. They have warned of a new arms race within the next decade unless they can cooperate with the U.S. and its allies on missile defense.