Kremlin stands by missile plans

Oct. 18, 2012 at 9:49 AM

MOSCOW, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Members of the NATO alliance might not like certain responses to plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Europe, the Russian deputy prime minister said.

Missile defense has emerged as a source of debate between the U.S. and Russian governments. The Kremlin said U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe would upset the strategic balance of power. Washington, however, says the system is needed to defend U.S. interests against rogue states such as North Korea and Iran.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry Rogozin said during a meeting with NATO leaders in Moscow that certain Kremlin reactions may be viewed as unfavorable.

"The Russian response (to a defense shield) is currently mostly virtual, political and diplomatic in character, but under certain circumstances we would be forced to deliver a technical response, which I don't think you'll like," he was quoted by state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

The Kremlin had said it would deploy its Iskander missile defense system unless it can get security assurances from Washington.

Russia in August deployed a regiment armed with the S-400 missile defense system to the port city of Nakhodka in the Far East. The defense shield can track multiple targets as far as 370 miles.

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