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Russia Seeks Pact Over US Global Anti-Missile System

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by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Feb 06, 2007
Russia will press Washington for a peace deal if the US carries out plans for an anti-missile defence system in Central Europe, a senior foreign ministry official said Tuesday. "Over the issue of a global deployment of a US anti-missile defence system, Russia aims to pursue a dialogue on legally binding agreements to guarantee the military potentials of each side will not be directed at the other," Alexander Kramarenko told the Interfax news agency.

Russia wants to "examine the destabilising consequences of the creation of global anti-missile system including its installation in Europe," he said.

The United States recently confirmed plans to start talks with the Czech Republic and Poland to deploy an anti-missile defence system that it says will guard against potential attacks from Iran and North Korea.

Last week President Vladimir Putin told Washington it would come up with a "highly effective" strategic response if the plans went through, adding Russia already had the missile capabilities to breach a US defence shield.

earlier related report
US Missile Defence System To Be Discussed By NATO Ministers
Bratislava (AFP) Feb 06 - Czech participation in US moves to widen its anti-missile defence system will be discussed by NATO defence ministers in Spain this week, Czech defence minister Vlasta Parkanova said on Tuesday.

"I spoke yesterday with NATO's Secretary General and he was kind enough to put this issue on the programme for discussion. The goal is very clear, we want this question to be discussed by NATO member countries," she added during a news conference on a visit to the Slovak capital.

Defence ministers from NATO countries are due to meet in Seville, southern Spain, on Thursday and Friday.

Washington has asked Prague and Warsaw to take part in its anti-missile defence system, a move which has sparked protests from Russia and, more recently, Ukraine.

The US wants to site a base with 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system detecting threats in the neighbouring Czech Republic to counter a possible missile attack from North Korea or Iran.

"We will not ensure liberty and security by burying our heads in the sand or by wanting to get rid of all the positions of US military presence in Europe, that is not the way to world peace," Parkanova added.

The US demand for an installation on Czech soil, supported by the centre-right government of Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, has spawned a vast debate in the Czech Republic.

Opponents, led by the Communist Party, have organised three protest demonstrations.

The main opposition party, the Social Democrats, have called for a referendum on the question.

Local mayors have also shown reticence about hosting a base nearby due to the hostility of most of their inhabitants.

Opponents have in particular highlighted the bilateral nature of negotiations between Washington and Prague and the lack of a NATO perspective on the proposals with extension of the US missile defence umbrella not figuring at the moment in NATO's missile defence plans.

Both houses of the Czech parliament, the Senate and lower house, will have to approve a US base with lower house lawmakers apparently divided on the issue.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Source: RIA Novosti

Related Links
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Iran Threat Behind Polish Interest In Missile Defense
Moscow, Russia (RIA Novosti) Feb 07, 2007
"A threat from Iran will appear in five to six years," Lewandowski told journalists in Moscow, adding "many experts think Iran will have ballistic missiles with a range of over 6,000 kilometers (3,730 miles) by 2010-2013. A missile defense base in Poland, if any, would be built in 2011-2012.







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