RUSSIA OBJECTS TO MISSILE SHIELD
A U.S. plan for a missile defense system calls for placing ten interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar installation in the Czech Republic. The purpose of this deployment is to protect the United States and its allies from a ballistic missile attack launched from the Middle East.
Even though the interceptors have no weapon on the tip, cannot be used offensively, and could not even catch a Russian missile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the U.S. plan would lead to an arms race in Europe and would impact Russia's nuclear arsenal.
U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey commented on the missile threat and the controversy:
(ACT :23 - DALET/POLICY/ACTUALITIES) "This is a threat that's there, not only for the United States and its European allies, but also for the Russians as well. And we would hope that the Russians would want to cooperate with us on the issue of missile defense. Certainly nothing that we have proposed or planned is in any way, shape, or form a threat to Russia's strategic capabilities and certainly shouldn't be viewed that way." (END ACT)
Mr. Casey says the United States will continue discussing the planned missile defense system with the Russian government, a dialogue that has already extended over a year and a half. The United States has been, and will remain, transparent about its missile defense plans in Europe.
State Department spokesman Casey also said the disagreement over this issue does not mean the United States and Russia will stop working together on other issues, including economic policy, Iran's nuclear program, and counterterrorism.