US missile shield in Europe prompts arms race: Russia

August 21st, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 21 (RIA Novosti) US agreements on deploying elements of its missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic provoke an arms race and do not provide for European security, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said. “It is worth stressing that the deployment of the third site in Europe with genuine anti-Russian potential by no means enhances security on the continent,” a ministry statement said Wednesday.

“Such measures provoke mistrust and prompt an arms race on the continent and beyond its borders,” the statement added.

The deal to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland was reached Aug 14 and formally signed Wednesday by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski.

It followed the signing of an agreement July 8 by the Rice and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg to station a US radar in the Czech Republic.

Moscow has consistently expressed its opposition to the US missile shield in Europe, saying it threatens its national security.

The US says the shield is designed to thwart missile attacks by what it calls “rogue states”, including Iran.

However, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated last week that Moscow has no doubt the missile shield’s third site is aimed against Russia.

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