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Russia: No U.S. tit-for-tat on missiles

Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:43 AM   |   Comments

MOSCOW, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- Russia doesn't have plans to position a missile shield near U.S. borders as Washington does in Eastern Europe, a Russian official said.

The Kremlin said U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe would upset the strategic balance of power. Washington says the system is needed to defend U.S. interests against rogue states such as North Korea and Iran.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told state-run news agency RIA Novosti that Washington was triggering an arms race with its missile plans.

"We have never placed our interceptor missiles near U.S. borders on ridiculous fabricated pretexts such as 'protecting our American friends from Canada and Honduras,'" he said. "But they do, on the pretext of protecting us and Europe from 'bad guys in Iran and North Korea.'"

During an October meeting with NATO leaders in Moscow, Rogozin that certain Kremlin reactions may be viewed as unfavorable. After U.S. President Barack Obama secured a second term in office in Nov. 6 elections, however, the deputy prime minister said he felt Washington would be more flexible when considering regional missile defense plans.

Obama was criticized in March for telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" on issues such as missile defense after the November elections.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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