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Russia views NATO missile shield as 'legitimate target for attack'

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Bonn, Dec 3, IRNA -- Russia's NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin on Saturday warned of a likely military confrontation with the western military alliance over the deployment of its controversial missile shield in Poland, according to the Hamburg-based weekly news magazine Der Spiegel.

The Russian official said his country viewed the stationing of the NATO missile umbrella as a 'legitimate target' for a military attack.

He reiterated the NATO missile shield was an 'illegal weapons system.'

Rogozin pointed out that Russian Iskandar missiles were capable of 'destroying' NATO's anti-missile system if it were deployed against his country.

He labeled NATO's missile defense in Europe an 'American provocation.'

Rogozin said time was running out for a solution to the conflict over the missile umbrella ahead of NATO's next summit in Chicago.

Earlier this year, Rogozin had called for 'legal guarantees' by NATO that the anti-missile umbrella was not directed against his country.

'We want clear guarantees that this system is not directed at us,' said Rogozin in a speech to the Berlin-based German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in April.

There have to be 'legal guarantees and criteria' for Russia to participate in the missile project, he added.

Plans by former US president George W. Bush to install 10 interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic had long been a source of conflict and were a major reason for the worsening of US-Russian ties in the Bush era.

Moscow had branded the missile shield a 'national security threat.'

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30696304

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