The US missile defense system, if deployed in Poland, could
become a target for Russia's defense system, a senior Russian
official said here on Monday.
"There are no doubts that the aim of the United States is not
Iran, but control over Russia's nuclear potential," said Konstantin
Kosachev, the head of the State Duma foreign policy committee.
Kosachev made the remarks in response to an earlier announcement
of Warsaw that it had reached an agreement with Washington on the
installation of a US missile defense system.
Kosachev said that "involvement of any third countries, in
particular Poland and the Czech Republic, make these countries
hostages of and participants in the situation."
Russia made its stance clear on the issue so that "it should not
be a surprise for anybody" when Russia takes real action, Itar-Tass
news agency quoted Kosachev as saying.
The United States announced plans in January 2007 to deploy 10
missile interceptors in Poland and a missile defense radar in the
Czech Republic as part of its European missile shield, purportedly
to counter a missile threat from Iran and other "rogue" states.
Russia strongly opposes the plan, claiming it is a direct threat
to its security and will break the strategic balance in the
The plan also met local resistance in Poland and the Czech
The current Polish government, elected last year, was initially
negative about the plan while trying to mend ties with Russia.
However, Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said Friday that
Warsaw and the United States had agreed in principle on the
deployment plan after he had received assurances that Washington
would help Poland strengthen its security.
(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2008)