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Polish premier slams Russian army chief's missile warning

RIA Novosti

16/12/2007 18:29 WARSAW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Sunday slammed as impermissible a warning by the Russian army chief that a possible U.S. anti-missile launch from Poland could provoke a Russian counterattack.

Tusk made his comments following a statement by Chief of the Russian General Staff Yury Baluyevsky on Saturday that the launch of a missile from a U.S. anti-missile system in Poland could be misread by Moscow's automated missile warning systems and could trigger a counterattack by Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.

"Statements of this kind are impermissible because no general is going to influence Polish-U.S. negotiations on the issue [on the U.S. missile defense shield in Central Europe]," Tusk said.

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 "rogue" 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.

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