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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
Russia warns US on missile plans
US Defence Secretary Robert Gates
Mr Gates is said to be offering some benefits to Russia
Russia has again condemned US plans for a missile shield in Europe, warning it could be a "destabilising factor".

Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov made the comments to his US counterpart Robert Gates in Moscow.

"The US strategic missile defence system is a destabilising factor that may considerably affect regional and global security," Mr Serdyukov said.

The US says the shield would help counter possible attacks by nations such as Iran.

Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer recently rejected concerns in Moscow that the US missile shield could lead to a new arms race with Russia.

The US wants parts of the shield to be sited in the Czech Republic and Poland.

The plan is to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland with an associated radar in the Czech Republic.

US officials insist that the system would not affect Russia's security.

US missile defence graphic

Last week Nato said the alliance's 26 members agreed that "there is a threat to Europe of missiles" and that their security must be "indivisible".

US officials say Washington is willing to offer some benefits of the missile system to Russia.

In the Czech Republic on Monday the head of the US missile defence agency, Gen Henry Obering, spoke of a "growing Iranian missile threat".

He said analysis of missile trajectories from Iran showed the Czech Republic and Poland to be the best places to locate interceptors, the AFP news agency reported.

Q&A: US missile defence
23 Feb 07 |  Americas
Czech-Polish OK for US missiles
19 Feb 07 |  Europe

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