Russia Warns of Military Response If U.S.-Czech Missile Defense Agreement Approved
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
MOSCOW — Russia will be forced to make a military response if the U.S.-Czech missile defense agreement is ratified, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
The statement came hours after U.S. and Czech officials reached an initial agreement on deploying elements of a missile defense system in the Eastern European country.
Russia says the system would severely undermine European security balances by weakening Russia's missile capacity.
If the agreement is ratified, "we will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods," the Foreign Ministry statement said. It did not give specifics of what the response would entail.
In February, then-President Vladimir Putin said Russia could aim missiles toward prospective missile defense sites and deploy missiles in the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad, which borders Poland, if the missile defense plan went forward.
The U.S. has pushed the plan as necessary to prevent missile attacks by rogue nations, pointing to Iran as a particular concern. But Russia dismisses the likelihood of such threats.
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