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Russia must punish states hosting U.S. missile shield - analyst

RIA Novosti

09/07/2008 17:32 MOSCOW, July 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia must use economic and political means, and military ties with Asia, to punish European states that agree to host U.S. missile defense elements, a Russian political analyst said on Wednesday.

Commenting on a U.S.-Czech deal signed on Tuesday on deploying a missile tracking radar, Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, the head of the Moscow-based Academy of Geopolitical Sciences, said: "Russia should not limit itself to statements. We must have a plan, adopted by the Russian Security Council, setting out measures on the economic, political and military cooperation levels."

Moscow has strongly opposed the possible deployment by the U.S. of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an accompanying radar in the Czech Republic as a threat to its security and international nuclear deterrence. Washington says the defenses are needed to deter a possible strike from Iran.

The U.S.-Czech missile shield treaty has yet to be ratified by the Czech parliament and signed by the Czech president. The country's opposition is currently holding mass rallies around the country against the placement of an early warning radar near the capital, Prague.

Polish-American talks on Washington's plans to place a missile base in Poland have stalled. Poland's prime minister said last Friday that his country was not satisfied with the terms offered by the U.S., but was ready for further dialogue.

Ivashov, who headed the main directorate for military cooperation at the Russian Defense Ministry in 1996-2001, told RIA Novosti: "On the political level, we must suspend our cooperation with NATO, because it brings us nothing but harm."

As an alternative, he suggested that Russia start negotiations with China, India and other countries to form a global alliance against the U.S. missile shield in Europe.

"A relevant decision must be made, at least in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)," Ivashov said.

The CSTO is a regional security organization comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

On the economic level, Russia must restrict imports and exports from and to countries which allow the placement of U.S. missile defense systems on their territory.

"Bilateral relations with these countries as a whole must be limited," Ivashov said.

"Russia must also warn the European countries that... in case of a potential military confrontation... capitals, large cities, and industrial and communications centers of the countries hosting elements of the U.S. missile shield will inevitably become primary targets of nuclear strikes," the general said.

"They should know that we are holding them in our sights," he added.

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