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Russia Rejects US Missile Defense Plan

By VOA News
12 November 2008

Russian news agencies say Moscow has formally rejected a U.S. plan to build a missile defense system in central Europe.

An unidentified Kremlin official is quoted as saying Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States on European security. But the source labeled as "inadequate" Washington's latest efforts to allay Russian concerns about the missile system.

The official also accused the Bush Administration of pushing the plan forward in a way that gives President-elect Barack Obama no option but to accept it.

The United States wants to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and guidance radar in the Czech Republic. U.S. officials insist the system is aimed at protecting U.S. interests and its European allies from missile attacks from Iran.

Moscow says the system threatens Russia's traditional sphere of influence and will lead to a new arms race.

Last week, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said his country will deploy short-range missiles on European Union borders in response to the U.S. plan.

He also said Russia will include equipment to electronically jam operation of the U.S. missile shield, which Washington wants to deploy in Poland and the Czech Republic.

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

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