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Moscow says European missile defense unjustified

RIA Novosti

18:57 06/07/2010

MOSCOW, July 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is convinced that there are no threats for Europe that would justify the deployment of a missile defense system near Russian borders, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

On July 3 in Krakow, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski witnessed the signing of the Protocol Amending the Agreement between the United States and Poland Concerning the Deployment of Ground-Based Ballistic Missile Defense Interceptors in the Territory of the Republic of Poland.

"We are closely studying the essence of the accords approved by the heads of the U.S. and Polish foreign policy departments 'adjusting' the August 2008 agreement," Andrei Nesterenko said, adding that "it is premature to make any far-reaching conclusions as of yet."

He said Moscow was puzzled by the proposed verification and inspection procedure with regard to the future Polish missile defense site, referring to Sikorski's comments, specifically procedure "based on reciprocity."

"It is difficult for us to understand what this is all about considering that Russia, unlike Poland, is not deploying elements of a foreign strategic infrastructure on its soil," he said, stressing there was no sign of "reciprocity" there.

He said Russia would welcome the readiness by the United States and NATO to "cooperate with Russia on an equal footing in building a future European missile defense architecture."

However he said "words are not being matched by deeds here."

The U.S.-Polish agreement begins the implementation of the U.S. European-based Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for ballistic missile defense and enables the stationing of a U.S. land-based missile defense interceptor system in the Republic of Poland.

"The agreed ballistic missile defense site in Poland is scheduled to become operational in the 2018 timeframe and constitutes a key element of Phase 3 of the EPAA," a U.S. State Department spokesman said.

"Upon entry into force, this agreement marks an important step in our countries' efforts to protect our NATO Allies from the threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction."

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