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Russia could ditch Kaliningrad missile plan, Medvedev tells paper

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Nov 13, 2008
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told a French newspaper Thursday that Russia would drop plans to place missiles in Kaliningrad if the United States dropped its missile shield plans.

"We are ready to negotiate a zero option," Medvedev said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro.

"We are ready to abandon the decision to deploy missiles in Kaliningrad if the new US administration, after analysing the real use of a system to respond to 'rogue states,' decides to abandon its missile system," he said.

The Russian leader went on to defend his announcement of Russian missile deployments to Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave wedged between NATO and EU members Poland and Lithuania.

He said the Russian move was a logical response to US plans to place missile defence facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

"I think it's an absolutely reasonable decision. We didn't start this and this is just a response to unilateral decisions that were taken to deploy missiles and a radar," Medvedev said.

In a Kremlin transcript of the interview Medvedev also said he saw room for negotiation with the incoming US administration of Barack Obama.

"Our future partners are thinking about whether it's useful or not, whether it's efficient or not. That means we have something to talk about," Medvedev said.

The current US administration has argued the deployment of a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland is essential to guard against a possible future missile threat from "rogue states" such as Iran.

Russia has said the planned US installations so close to its borders are a threat to its own defences and says the plans are in fact part of a broader aim of building up US and NATO bases on its western frontier.

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Greenland confirms nuke went missing under ice in 1968
Copenhagen (AFP) Nov 11, 2008
Greenland confirmed Wednesday a BBC report that claimed the United States abandoned a nuclear weapon under the ice in the Danish protectorate following a plane crash in 1968.

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