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Russia's new radar station ready to monitor missiles from Europe: commander

(Xinhua)

20:17, November 25, 2011

MOSCOW, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- A new radar station in Russia's Kaliningrad was ready to monitor missile launches from the entire European continent, a senior commander said Friday.

Commander of the Russian Air and Space Defense Troops Lieut. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said the Kaliningrad radar station would significantly enhance Russia's early warning system on missile attacks.

"It will allow us to efficiently monitor missile launches over the entire European continent, as well as from the North Atlantic area, including the functioning and systems of the European missile defense shield," Ostapenko said.

"Now we are ready on the orders of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief to put this radar station in service of the missile attack warning system," he said.

The commander also said the armed forces were only awaiting Russian leaders to give the order to deploy Iskander missile complexes in Kaliningrad.

"The Iskander missile system is a new-generation, smart and mobile system, which is capable of countering not only the European missile shield, but also offensive weapon systems," Ostapenko said.

He also mentioned the formation of the Air and Space Defense Troops, saying the forces would be on combat duty from Dec. 1.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday Russia could station contemporary missile systems, including the Iskander missile complexes, in western and southern sections of the country if there were any additional U.S. missile deployments in Europe.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of the U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities near its borders. It wants legally binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the missile defense shield is not targeting Russia.

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