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Russia Developing New Missiles to Counter US System

By VOA News
11 August 2009

A top Russian military officer says his country is developing new missiles to counter space-based missile systems that could soon be deployed by the United States.

Russian news agencies quote Air Force General Alexander Zelin as saying the new Russian missiles will also defend against airborne attacks.

General Zelin, speaking to reporters Tuesday in Moscow, said the United States by 2030 will have deployed satellite-based missile systems capable of striking targets anywhere in Russia.

General Zelin said the new Russian S-500 surface-to-air system under development will be capable of defeating "all manner of ballistic missiles and supersonic air devices.

Russia and the United states are currently negotiating a new strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty to replace a 1991 agreement that expires in December.

Moscow has voiced strong opposition to U.S. plans to deploy a land-based missile defense system in central Europe, saying it will trigger a new arms race. U.S. officials have insisted the system, in Poland and the Czech Republic, in no way targets Russia or anyone else and is aimed at countering a possible attack from such states as Iran.

U.S. President Barack Obama has not yet announced whether his administration will pursue the missile shield.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.



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