U.S. missile radar would not bother Czech

Dec. 17, 2007 at 5:00 PM
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PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- A Czech government minister said Russia shouldn't complain about U.S. radar in Eastern Europe since the Russians, theoretically, already watch the Czechs.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said the U.S. radar might bother the Russians but it doesn't bother him, the Czech daily Hospodarszke Noviny reported Monday.

Schwarzenberg said theoretically Russian radars have been covering Czech territory and can watch Czechs. He said he couldn't understand why Russians would care if a radar from the Czech Republic would peer into Russia, the Serbian news agency Beta said.

Russia has argued against the U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe, saying it was aimed at Russia. U.S. officials said the installations, planned for Poland and the Czech Republic, are to protect against rogue countries such as Iran.

The Czech Foreign Ministry rejected a recent warning by a Russian general that interceptor missiles fired against Iranian rockets from a U.S. base in Poland, with help from the U.S. radar in Czech Republic, could be read by Russia's defense system as an attack on Russia.

In such a hypothetical event, Russian missiles would be automatically fired toward Polish and Czech territories, Gen. Yuri Baluyevski, head of the general staff of the Russian army said Saturday.

Zuzana Opletalova, spokeswoman of the Czech Foreign Ministry, said the Russian general's words were unacceptable in the democratic world, Beta said.

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