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Russia warns of counter-measures against U.S. missile shield
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10:26, February 22, 2008

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Russia has to adjust its military strategies if the United States deploys missile defense systems in eastern Europe, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said here on Thursday.

The deployment of U.S. missile shield in eastern Europe will aggravate tensions across the region and jeopardize the global strategic balance, Serdyukov said in an article published on the website of the local newspaper Moskovskiye Komsomolets.

"It will also pose a threat to the national security of Russia," he added.

Serdyukov said that it remains important tasks for Russia's national defense ministry to beef up military readiness and develop strategic nuclear forces.

The minister also noted that Russia did not intend to threaten other countries by sending its strategic bombers to resume long-range patrol over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.

"It is not a military show-off," he said, adding that the strategic bombers are just conducting their regular flight and combat training.

Washington has pledged to base missile interceptors in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic as part of a project to extend the missile defense system to Europe.

Moscow strongly opposes the plan, saying it poses a threat to its security while Washington says the system is aimed at states and groups in the Middle East that are seeking weapons of mass destruction, not against Russia.

On Feb. 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at his large-scale press conference that Russia has to take counter measures and target those which Russia believes will pose threat to it if the U.S. actually deploys missile defense systems in Poland.


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