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New U.S. missile defense plans pose no threat to Russia - Lavrov

RIA Novosti

16:13 07/10/2009 KHARKOV (Ukraine), October 7 (RIA Novosti) - The new U.S. missile shield plans present no risks for Russia, and favorable conditions are now emerging for bilateral dialogue, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday.

U.S. President Barack Obama in September scrapped plans to deploy a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, due to a re-assessment of the threat from Iran. Moscow fiercely opposed the plans as a national security threat.

"The new plan put forward by the Obama administration to replace the project to deploy the Third Missile Defense Site offers good conditions for dialogue, and according to our assessments, does not pose the risks that were generated by the Third Missile Defense Site project," Lavrov said.

He added that the two countries would soon hold talks on missile defense.

According to the Obama administration's new plan, land-based missile-defense shields will not be implemented before 2015. Sea-based defenses will be operating in the Mediterranean up to 2015.

Moscow, which has consistently objected to the shield as a threat to its national security, welcomed the move. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said later that Moscow would scrap plans to deploy Iskander-M missiles in Russia's Kaliningrad Region, near Poland.

Medvedev said last November that Russia would deploy the missiles in Kaliningrad, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, if the shield was put into operation.



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