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Russia welcomes US move on missile shield

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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov. RIA Novosti image

MOSCOW (BNS): Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov welcomed on Sunday the US move to consult Russia on the deployment of missile shield system in Europe.

At a security conference in Munich, on Saturday, US Vice President Joe Biden said that Washington would continue to work on its plans to deploy a missile shield in Central Europe but would also consult Russia on it.

Replying to reporters on Biden's speech, Ivanov said it ‘was very positive.’ The deputy Premier said he especially liked Biden's statement that it was time to ‘press the reset button’ in relations between Russia and the United States.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti said that Moscow had consistently opposed the missile shield as a threat to its national security and officials have repeatedly expressed the hope that President Barack Obama would not follow through with his predecessor's missile defence plans.

Earlier, Washington had agreed with Warsaw and Prague plans to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic by 2013. The United States says the defences are needed to deter possible strikes from "rogue states" such as Iran.

On Friday, the agency quoted Ivanov as saying that the shield was aimed at Russia's nuclear deterrent, and Moscow would not follow through with its threat to deploy Iskander missile systems in the Kaliningrad Region if the US gave up its missile shield plans.


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