Moscow reiterates its missile defence posture

August 21st, 2012 - 10:24 am ICT by IANS  

Helsinki (Finland), Aug 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Moscow has warned that the implementation of the European missile defence project could become a throwback to the Cold War era.

The US says the shield is designed to protect against “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.

“Any unilateral and unlimited buildup of the missile capability by one state or a group of states would lead to the preservation of Cold War hangovers, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

It would be “damaging strategic stability in violation of all the OSCE members’ obligations not to strengthen their security at the expense of others,” he added.

The project is a test of Western sincerity about its commitment to equal security in Europe, he said, reiterating Russia’s demand for “legally binding guarantees” that the system will not be used against it.

These guarantees should be verifiable, he stressed.

Negotiations between Russia and NATO member states on the US-led missile defence project have deadlocked over the West’s reluctance to give Moscow such guarantees.

The US scrapped plans in September 2010 for an anti-ballistic-missile defence system in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Moscow welcomed the move, and then-President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia would drop plans to deploy Iskander-M tactical missiles in its Kaliningrad Region, which borders NATO members, Poland and Lithuania.

Last year, however, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Washington’s plans to deploy a missile interceptor site in Poland by 2018.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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