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UPDATED: 09:20, February 02, 2007
Russian answer to U.S. missile defense plans to be "effective": Putin
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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday pledged a "highly effective" response to U.S. plans to build missile defense sites in east Europe.

"We are also thinking about how to ensure our external security. All our answers will be asymmetric, but they will be highly effective," Putin told a press conference in the Kremlin, which was attended by more than 1,200 Russian and foreign journalists and was broadcast live on national television.

"We already have systems capable of overcoming a missile defense. But we will not restrict ourselves to this. There will be systems of a completely new generation on which missile defense systems currently being developed or deployed will have absolutely no effect," he said.

The U.S. State Department has announced that the Czech Republic and Poland had agreed to start detailed discussions with Washington on hosting part of a U.S.-built shield against ballistic missiles.

But the planned move has met criticism in Russia, with Moscow saying it did not believe the U.S. missile defense system was needed in Europe.

Source: Xinhua

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