A top Russian military official says that the way the United States and NATO respond to Moscow's concerns about a planned missile shield in Europe will be a test of the West's relations with Moscow.
Washington says the NATO missile defense plan is aimed at deflecting potential missile threats from rogue nations such as Iran, but Russia fears it could undermine Russia's nuclear deterrent.
Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Thursday that the issue is a "litmus test" that shows whether the alliance is "ready to consider us an equal partner in defining the structure of international security."
NATO has said it wants to cooperate with Russia on the missile shield. But it has rejected Russia's proposal to run the shield jointly.