Russia preparing response to US missile shield: Lavrov

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Moscow, Sep 22 (UNI) The planned deployment of elements of the US missile defence in Eastern Europe is being viewed as a ''threat'' by Russia and the country is preparing a fitting response to it, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said here.

''We can see a threat; we are preparing a response. Every action is counteracted,'' Mr Lavrov said in an interview with the Fifth Studio programme of the state TV Rossiya channel.

''This is not a malicious intent but a law, an obligation of servicemen and their supreme commanders, who simply must give the most effective response to any threats,'' he noted.

The Russian response ''will encourage overseas scientists and defence industry to create more advanced armaments, and our guys would not be idle either,'' he added.

Mr Lavrov's remarks came as Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak held another round of talks over strategic stability issues in Washington yesterday, with both sides agreeing to continue the dialogue in Moscow on October 9 and 10.

Russian and US foreign and defence ministers are expected to hold talks on the issues on October 12, after which they will submit the results of negotiations to their respective presidents.

Mr Lavrov also accused the US of deploying the missile defence radar in the Czech Republic to monitor the European part of Russia.

''When our American partners say that Gabala cannot be an alternative to a radar in the Czech Republic, I understand them because the Gabala radar cannot see Russian territory from its western borders to the Urals, while a radar in the Czech Republic can,'' Mr Lavrov said.

Earlier this week, a group of US military experts visited Gabala radar base rented by Russia in Azerbaijan, which Moscow has offered as an alternative to the planned US missile shield in Europe.

The specialists held informal technical consultations with their Russian counterparts.

UNI

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