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Russia to build sea-based 'missile shield' - diplomat

RIA Novosti

21:56 22/09/2011 KIEV, September 22 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is planning to develop its own sea-based missile defense system, a Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.

"According to our analysis, this system will be very efficient and meet the norms of international maritime law," said Vladimir Kozin, a deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's information and press department.

Kozin did not give any further details on the future missile defense system. He was speaking at a video conference between Moscow and Kiev on European security.

The move is almost certain to be interpreted as Russia's response to NATO's European missile shield, which it says it needs to counter potential missile attacks from "rogue states," such as Iran and North Korea.

The NATO "shield" includes U.S. warships equipped with Aegis ballistic missile defense systems capable of shooting down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the deployment of missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a threat to its national security.

Moscow has repeatedly warned NATO it would create both defensive and offensive means to counter any missile threat and to penetrate any missile defense if the sides did not agree to cooperate on the issue.

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