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PACE cancels U.S. missile shield debate

RIA Novosti

01/10/2007 16:22 (Recasts para 2, adds background in paras 3, 4)

STRASBOURG, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has cancelled a debate on U.S.' plans to deploy missile shield elements in Central Europe, fiercely opposed by Russia.

The debate on the political consequences of the move earlier scheduled for Thursday was cancelled after the majority of PACE members voted against it on Monday, when the European human rights watchdog opened its autumn session.

Moscow vehemently opposes Washington's plans to place a missile interceptor base in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic considering them a threat to Russia's national security. The United States says it needs better protection from rogue states like Iran and North Korea.

The two countries' top diplomats and defense officials will continue to discuss the issue - including Moscow's proposal that the U.S. use its radars instead - as well as Russia's moratorium on the Soviet-era Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty at talks on October 12.

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