French Defence Minister Herve Morin on Wednesday expressed doubts over a NATO push for costly missile systems, pointing to tight military budgets.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a vocal proponent of missile defence, met Morin to discuss issues from the war in Afghanistan to the future of the military alliance.
While Rasmussen said he hoped NATO states would make a decision on missile defence at a summit in November, Morin countered that European forces sometimes lacked even basic equipment such as helicopters.
"Given the cost of a missile defence system and given limited defence budgets, my deeper concern is that missile defence would come at the expense of the military capacity of Europeans, which is already often a European weakness," Morin said in a joint news conference.
Last year, U.S. President Barack Obama scrapped the previous administration's project to install a land-based missile shield in NATO members Czech Republic and Poland.
Russia has criticised plans for a shield, seeing it as a threat to its own nuclear arsenal.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 31 Mart 2010, 21:36