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Ukraine seeks integration into European missile defense

RIA Novosti

16/08/2008 16:05 MOSCOW/KIEV, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine may integrate its early warning missile system with Europe or propose other countries use its missile defense capabilities, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

Earlier in the year Russia and Ukraine had withdrawn from an agreement on Moscow's renting radar sites in Ukraine. The agreement, signed in 1992, defined the main principles for using early-warning missile systems located in Ukraine, as well as the operational order for Mukachevo and Sevastopol units and their provision, funding, modernization and reconstruction.

"Ukraine's withdrawal from the agreement offers the possibility of developing active cooperation with European countries with a view to integrating units of early missile warning and space systems with similar systems," the ministry said.

The statement from the Ukrainian diplomatic body comes amid Russia's concerns over U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile shield in Europe.

The United States and Poland signed an agreement on Thursday to deploy 10 U.S. interceptor missiles in the former Communist-bloc country.

Russia is strongly opposed to the missile shield plan, which it says will undermine its nuclear deterrent and threaten its national security.

Washington says plans to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland coupled with a radar system in the Czech Republic are intended to counter possible attacks from what it calls "rogue states," including Iran.



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