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Medvedev renews warning on missile defence

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

WASHINGTON (AFP): Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned in an interview that he could walk away from a nuclear disarmament treaty signed last week if a US missile defence program in Europe creates "imbalance."

Medvedev said former Cold War foes Russia and the United States negotiated specific language in the preamble of the new START treaty he signed last week with US President Barack Obama.

This "formula" states that there is an "interconnection between the strategic offensive arms and missile defence," Medvedev told ABC News.

"So if those circumstances will change, then we would consider it as the reason to jeopardise the whole agreement."

If the United States "radically multiplies the number and power of its missile defence system, obviously that missile defence system is indeed becoming a part of the strategic offensive nuclear forces, because it's capable of blocking the action of the other side," he added.

"So an imbalance occurs, and this would be certainly the reason to have a review of that agreement."

Obama's Republican foes have cautioned they will oppose the pact if it hampers the US missile defence plans bitterly opposed by Russia.

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