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|Thursday, July 06, 2000, updated at 13:49(GMT+8)|
Moscow Reaffirms Opposition to U.S. Revision of ABM TreatyA top Russian military official Tuesday reiterated Moscow's objection to U.S. plans to create a missile defense umbrella, stressing that modifying the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) treaty concern not only the U.S. and Russia, but also other countries' interests.
"The proposal of the United States to deploy a national missile defense system breaks the balance of nuclear forces, formed by a system of accords over recent years," General Vladimir Yakovlev, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Strategic Missile Force, told a Tuesday interview, published in the Wednesday issue of the Russian newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda (Red Star).
A number of European countries also feel negative about the U.S. deployment of a missile defense system, which would destabilize the international situation, cause "certain nuclear anarchy" and ignite the motivation to design more and more methods for missile defense, noted the general.
"The U.S. attempt to ignore this violates the principle of equal security in relations between Russia and the United States and relations between NATO member-countries," he stressed.
It is possible for Moscow to reply to the American plans by equipping its missiles in a different way. "We can equip the modernized Topol missiles with several warheads instead of one," Yakovlev warned.
There are cheaper and more efficient ways to guarantee the breaking of the missile defense system, he noted. For instance, Russia can change the principles of using and deploying operational and tactical nuclear armaments. The number of nuclear warheads in cruise missiles can be increased, and they are hard for the missile defense system to catch.
"The program of medium-range ballistic missiles can be revived, "he warned.
The U.S. missile defense system could take shape by 2010-2015, but Washington "will hardly gain anything even if they design several hundreds of anti-missiles," Yakovlev said.
The political essence of Moscow's proposal to make a Russian-European missile defense system, which could be implemented within eight to ten years, is aimed to prevent the United States from revising the ABM treaty of 1972, he emphasized.
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