US missile shield in Europe aimed against Russia: Army chief

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Moscow, Nov 13 (UNI) US plans to deploy missile defence shield in Central Europe are undoubtedly directed against Russia, the chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Gen Yury Baluyevsky said here today.

''If the Americans deploy the radar by 2011 and anti-ballistic missiles by 2012-2013, they will certainly be directed against Russia, and we can easily prove it,'' Gen Baluyevsky said in an interview with Russia Today state TV channel.

He said those advising the US President George W Bush to create global missile defence systems were motivated by a desire to ensure that the US could strike with impunity and prevent any kind of retaliation.

Gen Baluyevsky reiterated that the alleged Iranian missile threat was used by Washington as a pretext to deploy weapons close to Russia's borders, as Iran does not possess the technology to develop and produce long-range inter-continental ballistic missiles.

''There will be no Iranian threat to the United States in the near future. Iran will be unable to create intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States until at least 2020,'' he said.

''As to the European segment of the missile shield, it is certainly not aimed against Iran,'' he said, adding that Washington had turned down Russia's proposal to jointly monitor missile test launches in Central Asia and the West Asia.

US wants to base a radar in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in Poland, to counter missile threat from Iran and other 'rogue' states.

Recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared US missile defence system in Central Europe with the 1962 Cuban crisis.

''The situation is quite similar technologically for us. We have withdrawn the remains of bases from Vietnam and Cuba, but such threats are being created near our borders,'' Putin said.

UNI

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