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Russian FM slams US planned missile shield
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has complained that Washington disregarded Moscow's concerns over the planned deployment of US anti-ballistic missile (ABM) components in Central Europe, Itar-Tass news agency reported on Tuesday.


"The ABM negotiations were hard. We seem to share the goal of strategic stability and missile non-proliferation, but the American methods disregard Russian concerns," Lavrov was quoted assaying in an interview to be published Wednesday on the Vermya Novostei newspaper.


Washington initiated plans at the beginning of this year to deploy a radar station in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, claiming it will prevent potential missile attacks from Iran.


Moscow has repeated its opposition to such a system, saying it will weaken its deterrence and undermine strategic balance.


The two rivals have held several talks on the issue but failed to record any breakthrough.


"We have serious reports, which say that the system will deter Russia instead of neutralizing hypothetical threats from Iran," the top Russian diplomat said.


On the Iran situation, Lavrov said the change of regime is not the goal.


"If the American partners aim at a new regime in pursuit of the declared goals, that will be incorrect partnership. We will oppose that." Lavrov said.


(Xinhua News Agency December 26, 2007)

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