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Russia unhappy with U.S. missile defense political guarantees

RIA Novosti

18/11/2008 18:39 MOSCOW, November 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is not satisfied with U.S. political guarantees on missile defense, the foreign minister said Tuesday after talks with his Portuguese counterpart.

"As regards hypothetical political guarantees - they have been given to us repeatedly - on NATO non-expansion, on the issue of deploying significant armed forces on the territory of new NATO members, and on non-establishment of military bases," Sergei Lavrov said.

"These political guarantees have not worked for all these years," he said. "Physical guarantees are required that there will be no Third Site in Europe. Then there will be no need for military-technical measures on our part."

Washington recently said it had provided new proposals to ease Russia's concerns over the planned deployment of 10 U.S. interceptor missiles in Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic, which the Bush administration has said are needed to counter possible attacks from "rogue" states such as Iran.

The components of the U.S. missile defense system are also located in Alaska and California.

Russia, which says the missile defense system is a threat to its national security, has indicated it will not address the U.S. proposals until after president-elect Barack Obama is inaugurated as U.S. president in January.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced earlier the possible deployment of Iskander-M short-range missile systems in the country's Kaliningrad exclave, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea.

However, the Russian leader said in an interview with France's Figaro newspaper that Russia could "reconsider this response if the new U.S. administration is ready to once again review and analyze all the consequences of its decisions to deploy the missiles and radar facilities."

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