Russia's military chief of staff criticized on Wednesday US
plans to deploy missile defense systems in Europe, saying the
planned move is a mistake.
Russia sees the plans as "an erroneous step with extremely
negative consequences for international security," Gen. Yuri
Baluyevsky was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.
"The formation of a US missile defense base in Europe cannot be
viewed otherwise than as a serious re-configuration of US military
presence," he said.
The United States is in talks with NATO members Poland and the
Czech Republic in search for a base to deploy missile defense
systems in eastern Europe.
Baluyevsky said the deployment of a European missile defense
shield is "an unfriendly step" to Russia.
"The possible area of interception of ballistic missiles will
cover a significant part of Russia's European territory," he
Baluyevsky criticized US claims that the missile defense system
will not have any serious impact on Russia's nuclear deterrence
potential and only aim to counter missile threats from certain
Asian states, saying these arguments are only an excuse.
(Xinhua News Agency December 14, 2006)