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Russia prepares response to revised U.S. missile shield plans

RIA Novosti

17:38 01/10/2009 MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Defense Ministry is preparing a response to a U.S. revision of its missile shield plans in Central Europe, the Russian defense minister said on Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama announced on September 17 that Washington would not deploy missile-defense elements in the Czech Republic and Poland due to a re-assessment of the threat from Iran, refocusing U.S. missile defenses on a more flexible approach.

"Russia welcomes this initiative on the part of the United States. We were instructed by the Russian president to study this issue and we will prepare our proposals in the near future and submit them for his consideration," Anatoly Serdyukov said after a meeting of the Russian-French Council for Security Cooperation.

Following Obama's announcement, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he had decided against deploying Iskander missiles in Russia's Kaliningrad Region, which Russia had threatened to do if the U.S. went ahead with plans to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station the Czech Republic.

Medvedev also said Russia was ready to continue missile defense cooperation with the U.S. and Europe, praising the recent U.S. decisions on missile defense as "sensible."


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