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Russia insists on halt to US missile shield

Posted by seumasach on June 12, 2009


11th June, 2009

Russia says that the US must halt its plans to deploy a missile shield in Eastern Europe before the two countries can start a dialogue on missile defense.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Andrei Nesterenko, also insisted that Moscow would not cooperate in the Pentagon’s plans to site an anti-missile radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland.

“We cannot agree to cooperate on the creation of sites which in their essence are designed to oppose Russia’s strategic deterrent forces. No one will do something that harms himself,” Nesterenko said.

“Only a US withdrawal from plans to place the so-called third position area of strategic missile defense in Europe can allow full-fledged dialogue to start on issues of cooperation in the reaction to probable missile threats.”

The term “third position area” refers to the US plans in Eastern Europe. The previous two areas of the planned multibillion-dollar missile shield are in the US states of Alaska and California.

Nesterenko’s comments on Thursday were in response to Russian media reports that the two countries had made progress on the issue and that the United States might even situate elements of its missile shield in Russia.

The reports, which appeared in a number of Russian newspapers, were based on testimony by the US Defense Secretary Robert Gates this week before US senators.

Moscow has reacted angrily to the US missile defense plans, saying they are a threat to Russian security.

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