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Russia's Gerasimov Scores
Patriot Deployments in Turkey

Jan. 17, 2013 (EIRNS)—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee.

Speaking to reporters following the NATO-Russia meeting in Brussels yesterday, General Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said that the sharpest exchanges in their discussion concerned NATO's present plans for a missile defense system.

"The situation around the missile defense issue is still complicated," Gerasimov said, and would require the elimination of any potential threat against Russia before talks were to succeed. He insisted, however, that there was room for more dialogue on the issue."We do not intend to limit NATO's ability to have a missile defense system," he said, "but we have a right to expect that the defense of NATO countries will not be achieved at the expense of reducing Russia's security."

Gerasimov also expressed concern that NATO countries are tending more and more toward military solutions in crisis situations. He pointed in particular to the stationing of Patriot missiles in Turkey as an example of this. The accumulation of such weaponry, especially in a crisis region, can entail grave risks, he said. For this reason, the Russian General Staff is "closely tracking the placement of anti-missile equipment near the border to Syria."

"Our position is based on the principle that the Syrians must resolve their own problems, and that foreign interference will only have catastrophic consequences for the region," Gerasimov said.

Gerasimov also indicated that Russia would continue discussions with NATO regarding the measures that should be taken following the departure of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, in order to prevent that country from again falling into chaos. Russia will also take part in a number of joint maneuvers with NATO planned for the coming year.

U.S. Chief of Staff Martin Dempsey also took part in the meeting.