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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:09, June 08, 2006
Russia concerned over US weapons programs
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that US weapons development projects could upset the nuclear nonproliferation regime as they could lower the threshold of weapon use.

US plans to develop low-yield nuclear warheads and arm intercontinental ballistic missiles with conventional warheads are "a cause for concern," Lavrov told lawmakers at the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, the Interfax news agency reported.

"These projects could be destabilizing in their nature. They could lower the threshold of weapon use and have a destructive effect on the nuclear nonproliferation regime," Lavrov said.

Lavrov also expressed worries about US plans to deploy missile defense elements in Eastern Europe, supposedly in Poland and the Czech Republic, both of which are NATO members.

"In the future, this means that Russian ballistic missiles could be intercepted early. There is the danger that the planned missile defense silos might be used for secret deployment of ballistic missile weapons," he said.

But the Russian top diplomat said his country was maintaining dialogue with the United States on all these issues and "will seek to have our interests duly taken into account".

Moscow's relationship with Washington is "an issue of special attention over security and disarmament, and it has strategic significance to preserving the strategic balance of forces and preventing the arms race from reaching a new technological level," Lavrov said.

Source: Xinhua

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