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Russia opposes U.S. missile shield

July 28, 2011 at 3:44 PM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, July 28 (UPI) -- A planned U.S. missile shield in Turkey's Black Sea region drew opposition Thursday from Russia, which said U.S. officials want to "shake their weapons."

"The Black Sea has always been a sea of friendship and cooperation and it should remain so in the future," Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's envoy to NATO, was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Speaking in Ankara as part of a NATO capitals tour for NATO missile defense talks, Rogozin said Russia opposes Black Sea region deployment of naval forces from countries "that shake their weapons and have no relation to the Black Sea basin."

The U.S. plan calls for deploying sea-based missiles and radars as part of its European missile shield.

Russia and NATO have agreed to work on a missile shield but NATO favors two independent systems that exchange information. Russia, by contrast, wants a joint system.

NATO plans radar connected to the U.S. missile defense system in Turkey, Rogozin said.

"As a country that has outlets in the Mediterranean and Black seas, Turkey would have to decide on whether to allow American sea-based missiles to be deployed there or not," he said.

Russia has expressed opposition to U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, calling them a security threat. U.S. officials counter the shield is to defend NATO member countries against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not target Russia.

© 2011 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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