Moscow: Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has said in an interview that Russia will deploy nuclear weapons and "strike forces" if it is shut out of a Western missile defense system, echoing a warning from President Dmitry Medvedev.
In an interview with Larry King taped on Tuesday, Putin said missile threats against Europe must be tackled jointly -- a reference to an agreement reached at a Russia-NATO summit this month to cooperate on missile defense.
But if Russia`s proposals are rejected and new threats appear along its borders, "Russia will have to ensure its own security," Putin said, according an English translation of an excerpt posted on the CNN website.
Russia would "put in place new strike forces ... against the new threats which will have been created along our borders," Putin said. "New missile, nuclear technologies will be put in place."
Putin said Russia does not want this to happen and is not threatening the West, but the remarks underscored the Kremlin`s insistence on a significant role in a missile defense system and suggested ties could sour badly if agreement is not reached.