Moscow demands explanation over US missile deployment

Moscow demands explanation over US missile deployment Moscow: Russia on Thursday said it wants an explanation from America and Poland on the deployment of US surface-to-air Patriot-type missiles near the Russian border.

"We do not understand completely what is the need is to create military infrastructure in close proximity to Russian borders. These are the questions that we ask our Polish colleagues and US partners," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"So far we have been told only one thing: do not worry, this is not aimed against you. We have already heard this in the past and we consider that the new nature of relations between Washington and Warsaw allows us to expect more detailed explanations on what is happening," Lavrov said.

The Patriot missile base has been unveiled yesterday under the US-2009 Supplemental Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) near the northern Polish town of Morag, 80 km from the Russian border. It is the first such deployment on Polish soil.

Yesterday, Polish Defence Minister Bogdan Klich welcomed the stationing of US Patriot missiles on Polish soil, describing it as an important step in strengthening Poland's security.

The Patriots, designed to intercept incoming surface-to-surface missiles, and some 150 US troops due to service them, arrived in Morag on Sunday.

Poland a former Soviet ally is a member of NATO.

Russia yesterday slammed the US decision to deploy the Patriot in Poland, saying the move jeopardised bilateral relations and security in the region.