Russia warns US on missile defence: Reports
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Last Updated: Friday, October 16, 2009, 00:21
Moscow: A top Russian diplomat suggested on Thursday that the US should not talk with non-NATO nations about a prospective missile shield, Russian news agencies reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov's remarks appeared to reflect alarm over the idea that Western-leaning neighbours such as Ukraine or Georgia, Russia's foe in a war last year, could potentially host US missile defence facilities.

Ryabkov said Russia is concerned about what he said were contacts between the US and nations outside NATO on missile defence, state-run ITAR-Tass and RIA Novosti reported.

President Barack Obama removed a major irritant in relations with Russia last month by scrapping US plans to place interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic deployments Russia treated as a threat.

The Kremlin has praised Obama for the decision, but Russian officials have also said they want to know details about what system the US will put in place instead.

Ryabkov's comments served as a warning that the United States should avoid taking steps that would threaten Russia or turning to its neighbours as potential partners in missile defence without consulting with Moscow.

"We are experiencing the concerns that emerge when major questions of strategic stability should be considered in a partner-like manner," he was quoted as saying.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, October 16, 2009, 00:21

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