President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday that his statement about Moscow's possible response to the U.S.-led European missile defense shield was "thoroughly considered" but not pre-election rhetoric.
Medvedev spoke when he and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with some 200 of their supporters here to discuss the ruling United Russia party's campaign on the eve of the Sunday parliamentary elections.
"The statement (about anti-missile defense) has no tactical or pre-election nature. This is a thoroughly considered statement," Medvedev said.
"To be frank, I was forced (to make this statement)", Medvedev added, elaborating that his initiatives on creating a joint security system in Europe have not been supported by NATO.
The president warned that Russia was ready to make more steps in case the European anti-missile defense would be further developed and no agreement would be reached in next eight-ten years.
"More steps will follow, if necessary. But I would not want that any of the Russian leaders will have to make decisions about deployment of our striking forces on our borders," he said.
Meanwhile, according to Medvedev, Russia remains "absolutely open for more negotiations."
The president said last week that Russia might station missile defense systems, including the Iskander, in western and southern sections of the country if there were any additional U.S. missile deployments in Europe.
Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities near its borders. It wants legally binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the missile defense shield is not targeting Russia.