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Russia capable of responding to US missile shield deployment plans - diplomat


March 26, 15:47 UTC+3

Russia has all the necessary means to counter deployment of the US missile shield elements in the interests of the strategic balance maintenance

MOSCOW, March 26. /TASS/. Moscow warns the countries intending to permit deployment of the US missile shield elements on their territories that Russia has all the necessary means to counter the threat, Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday.

'Russia has been for years drawing attention to the fact that the missile defense architecture built by the United States with the involvement of its NATO allies may in perspective pose a threat to Russian strategic containment forces and eventually result in parity disruption, which in turn would require responsive measures aimed at the restoration of the strategic balance,' Lukashevich said.

'We have the necessary means to counter this system in the interests of the strategic balance maintenance, but we do not want and do not intend to resort to them without any need,' Lukashevich said. 'However, participants in this system should bear in mind that Russia has all the necessary means to neutralize such threats.'

The Russian diplomat said it was regretful that insistent arguments of Moscow against the formation of this destabilizing system in Europe were not heard.

'At the same time attempts to launch equal cooperation and dialogue in the missile defense sector have hit a wall of misunderstanding,' Lukashevich said.

The Russian diplomat also said that NATO recently 'blatantly curtailed a dialogue on the missile defense issues in a move that does not yield improvements to the situation.'

Lukashevich said that 'in line with Russia's current military doctrine the country reserves the right to use nuclear weapons in response to the use of nuclear weapons against Russia and its allies as well as in case of aggression against Russia that threatens the existence of the country.'

'We consider it inadmissible to misinterpret our fundamental [doctrine's] provisions concerning nuclear security,' Lukashevich said.

He also urged an end to 'malevolent speculations on this issue, which were circulated in NATO circles recently.'

'The United States should have long ago abandoned the habit of making detrimental unilateral steps in the sphere of missile defense so that there eventually would be no need of taking care of their consequences,' Lukashevich added.

Russia and US-led NATO have been in a long dispute over US missile shield plans in Europe, which the United States said was aimed to defend its allies from possible missile threats emerging from Iran and North Korea.

Russia viewed the deployment of the missile shield near its borders as a threat to its national security and in 2011 then-President Dmitry Medvedev announced a set of measures to counter the US-proposed missile defense system in Europe. The measures particularly included the construction of new air-defense radar systems and deployment of Iskander missiles in Russia's Kaliningrad Region, which borders on Europe.


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