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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russia scraps plans for missiles near Poland - defense official

RIA Novosti

14:06 19/09/2009 MOSCOW, September 19 (RIA Novosti) -The Defense Ministry confirmed on Saturday that Russia is set to scrap plans to deploy missiles near Poland after the U.S. shelved its nuclear missile shield plans for Europe.

Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said on the Ekho Moskvy radio station that U.S. President Barack Obama's decision earlier this week made the deployment of Iskander tactical missiles in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad unnecessary.

"Reason prevailed over ambitions, and there is no need in deploying tactical Iskander systems in Kaliningrad," Popovkin said echoing earlier statements from other Russian officials.

Obama announced on Thursday that Washington would not deploy a radar in the Czech Republic and a missile base in Poland, due to a re-assessment of the threat from Iran. Moscow fiercely opposed the plans as a national security threat.

"The measures Russia had planned in response to the deployment of missile shield elements in Eastern Europe will certainly be abandoned," Popovkin said.

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