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Russia: US missile shield in Europe prompts arms race


MOSCOW (BNS): The US pact with Poland and the Czech Republic to deploy missile shield in Europe was condemned by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday.

In a statement the Russian Foreign Ministry said, "It is worth stressing that the deployment of the third site in Europe with genuine anti-Russian potential by no means enhances security on the continent. Such measures provoke mistrust and prompt an arms race on the continent and beyond its borders."

However, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that there was no doubt that the missile shield's third site was aimed against the country. “The US has sited interceptor missiles in California and Alaska to protect against possible attacks from the Pacific, particularly North Korea,” Medyedev said.

A formal deal to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland was signed on Wednesday between the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. A similar pact was signed on July 8 with Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg to station US radar in the Czech Republic.

Russia has consistently opposed the US missile shield in Europe, saying it threatens its national security. The US has consistently said that the shield was necessary to thwart missile attacks from "rogue states," like Iran.

However, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said again last week that Moscow has no doubt the missile shield's third site is aimed against Russia. The United States has sited interceptor missiles in California and Alaska to protect against possible attacks from the Pacific, particularly North Korea

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