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Russia to monitor missile launches

Nov. 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM

MOSCOW, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Russia said it will be able to monitor missile launches from the North Atlantic and from a future European missile defense system from a Baltic radar station.

Aerospace Defense Forces chief Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said Friday the radar station in the enclave of Kaliningrad, between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, is ready for operation as part of a national missile early-warning attack system, RIA Novosti reported.

"We will be able to control the entire European continent and the Atlantic, including the European missile defense system," Ostapenko said.

He also said Iskander tactical missiles would be deployed in the Kaliningrad area "in the near future."

Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said Tuesday Russia's air-defense system, to be operational by Dec. 1, would be able to intercept any type of missile at any speed.

President Dmitry Medvedev Wednesday said Russia would move "advanced offensive weapon systems" to its European borders in response to the planned NATO missile shield if missile defense talks between Washington and Moscow fail.

The United States has been promoting the missile shield with sites in Eastern Europe as a defense to deter possible attack by Iran, not as a threat to Russia.

Moscow seeks written, legally binding guarantees the shield will not be directed against it but Washington has refused to put verbal assurances into writing.

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