Speaking at his residence in a luxurious suburb of south Brussels, a day after returning from a meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, Mr Rasmussen told The Sunday Telegraph that he believes that it would be relatively straightforward to set up a new defensive system. Under the plan, an anti-ballistic missile "shield" would be extended across Nato's territory, coordinated by a new command and control system that would "knit together" existing radar and other sensor systems, with new SM-3 missiles based on land.
"In a nutshell we could build an effective missile defence system to protect all our population by connecting existing systems," he said. "Even in a time of economic constraints it would cost very little – €200 million over 10 years, shared between 28 allies. For a modest cost we can protect 900 million citizens.
"If Nato decides to go ahead and develop a missile defence system it should be accompanied by an invitation to the Russians to cooperate. This would make sense from a security point of view. Realistically we would have a Nato system alongside a Russian system. We can develop cooperation mechanisms which would make the whole system more effective.
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