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Home >> World
UPDATED: 16:46, May 08, 2007
Rice to focus on missile defense in Moscow tour
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United State Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will strive to sell U.S. plans to deploy anti-missile systems in central Europe during her visit to Moscow next week, which has sparked rows between the Cold War rivals, news agencies said on Tuesday.

During the visit slated for May 14-15, the top U.S. diplomat will discuss with her Russian colleagues on a wide range of bilateral and global issues, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

They will discuss "U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Eastern Europe, the situation on the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, and bilateral ties," the Interfax news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin as saying.

The United States has planed to base missile interceptors in Poland and radar units in the Czech Republic. It claimed the system was aimed against possible ballistic missile attack from Iran or North Korea, not targeting Russia.

However, Russia insisted that Iran did not possess such weapons and the system will harm its national interest as well as regional security situation.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Moscow last month but failed to assuage Russian opposition to the U.S. plan.

Russia has even voiced to take counter measures against the U.S. military facilities.

"If we see that a threat is coming from the facilities (elements of the missile defense system) that could be created in Europe, we will definitely plan action against them," Russian General Staff Chief General of the Army Yury Baluyevsky was quoted as saying on Monday.

Source: Xinhua

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