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Hollande Says Missile Shield No Threat to Other Nations

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May 20 (Bloomberg) -- French President Francois Hollande put his support behind a NATO missile defense system, saying it poses no threat to other nations.

Hollande dismissed Russian objections and reversed his “reticent” stance on the defense shield that he expressed during his campaign for the presidency. At a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Chicago today, Hollande said his concerns have been addressed.

He said the missile defense will complement nuclear deterrence, there will be proper “political control,” French industries will have a direct interest and costs will be secured.

“I may that add that it is out of question for some countries to feel threatened by this system, I am thinking to Russia and the dialogue with Russia will have to continue,” Hollande said at a news conference.

The U.S. says the missile defense system is intended to guard against attacks from rogue states such as Iran. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who returned to the Kremlin for a third term this month, opposes the U.S. plans to house parts of a missile shield in eastern Europe.

France, the U.K. and the U.S. are the three NATO-member countries that have nuclear deterrence as a defense strategy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Chicago at hfouquet1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net

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