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US vows to 'press forward' with missile shield amid Moscow warnings

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Dec 8, IRNA -- US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday vowed to 'press foward' with plans to deploy a controversial missile shield amid Russian warnings of a major renewed arms race, according to German press reports.

Talking to journalists in Brussels following a meeting with her NATO counterparts and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Clinton stressed Moscow had no veto rights on the issue.

'We have explained through multiple channels that our planned system will not and cannot threaten Russia's strategic deterrent,' Clinton said.

'That said, no ally within NATO is going to give any other country outside the alliance a veto over whether NATO protects itself by building a missile defence system against the threats that we perceive are the most salient,' she added.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday his country would 'respond adequately' if NATO failed to address its concern over the missile umbrella system.

'Apart from general remarks about trust and not targeting systems against each other, we need legally binding arrangements,' Lavrov said in Brussels after a meeting with NATO foreign ministers.

'We want to have clear guarantees. Because good intentions come and pass, while military capabilities stay. If Russian concerns are not taken into account, we will respond adequately at every stage of implementation,' Lavrov said, without elaborating.

Moscow regards NATO's stationing of the anti-missile system in East Europe a 'national threat' as President Dmitry Medvedev intensified the pressure last month, when he ordered military commanders to prepare to deploy ballistic missiles to the Kaliningrad enclave next to Lithuania and Poland to counter the western alliance's missile defense.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30701980

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