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Putin: U.S. missile plan a 'harmful thing'

May 23, 2007 at 3:53 PM

VIENNA, May 23 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the United States' plans for a European missile defense system, calling the proposal a "harmful thing."

During a news conference with Austrian President Heinz Fischer on Wednesday, Interfax reported, Putin labeled the controversial missile system an unnecessary measure for the European region.

"We believe it is an absolutely harmful thing not stemming from the actual situation in either Europe or the world," Putin said from Vienna. "What negative is happening in Eastern Europe to fill it with ever new armaments?"

The Russian leader also said that his nation would maintain its stance against the United States' missile defense system.

Putin also warned that the creation of the missile armaments in Poland and the Czech Republic would ultimately create "a new round of arms race," Itar-Tass reported.

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