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US antimissile launch may provoke counterattack, Russia army chief

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Moscow, Dec 15, IRNA
US-Russia-Army Chief
A possible US launch of an interceptor missile from Central Europe may provoke a counterattack by intercontinental ballistic missiles (IBMs), Russia's top military commander said.

"If we suppose that Iran wants to strike the United States, then interceptor missiles, which would be launched from Poland, will fly towards Russia," the Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Yury Baluyevsky said, adding that the shape of interceptor missiles and their flight trajectory are very similar to IBMs.

RIA-Novosti said that Washington wants to place a radar in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland, purportedly to counter a missile threat from Iran and other states.

Moscow has responded angrily to the plans, saying the European shield would destroy the strategic balance of forces and threaten Russia's national interests.

The top Russian military official said Russia operates automated missile warning systems, which could respond automatically in case the US fires an anti-missile across Russia against a possible ballistic missile from Iran.

He added that the US also still keeps high on the agenda an issue of a possible global confrontation with Russia.

"The issue of, to put it mildly, confrontation with Russia, including a direct confrontation, is unfortunately still regarded by my counterparts from the Pentagon as relevant," he said adding that the US missile shield plans in Central Europe are aimed to change the current security system in Europe and not against possible strikes from Iran.


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