Russian: ICBMs could target missile shield

Sept. 10, 2008 at 7:37 AM
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MOSCOW, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A Russian military official says his country could target U.S. missile shield defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic with its latest ballistic missiles.

Col. Gen. Nikolai Solovtsov said Russian leaders aren't concerned as much with the actual deployment of the anti-missile system components in Eastern Europe as they are with the "lack of transparency" in their planning, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

Because of that, Solovtsov said, "we have to take appropriate action. I cannot rule out that should the country's military-political leadership make such a decision, some of our (intercontinental ballistic missiles) could be targeted at missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, and subsequently at other such facilities."

The United States says the missile shield installations are designed against attacks by "rogue nations." But Russian leaders doubt that, seeing instead a U.S. move to isolate the country from its Soviet-era satellite states in Eastern Europe.

Solovtsov told RIA Novosti Russia's Strategic Missile Forces had superior Topol-M missiles capable of successfully penetrating the U.S. missile defense system, which wouldn't be in place until 2015-20.

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