Russian missiles can 'overcome' any ABM systems: Top commander

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Moscow, Dec 17 (UNI) Russian strategic missiles are capable of passing through any existent and prospective missile defence systems, including the one deployed by the United States, Strategic Missile Forces Commander Col Gen Nikolai Solovtsov said today.

''The combat gear we are receiving and will receive several years from now will allow our missiles to pass through any missile defence systems,'' Gen Solovtsov told Interfax news agency.

He added the missiles are being upgraded with test launches.

''We have been holding test launches for years,'' Gen Solovtsov said.

He noted that the Forces' development plan takes into consideration the new threats to Russian security that arise with the deployment of US missile defence elements in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Meanwhile, the secretary to the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) General Nikolai Bordyuzha said today Russia was seriously concerned about NATO's initiatives of building up military potential in Europe.

''The balance of powers has recently changed in Europe. It is not Russia and the CSTO member states, but NATO, that initiated this,'' General Bordyuzha told Interfax-AVN news agency.

''NATO member states deploy new bases in Romania and Bulgaria, it is the United States, as a NATO member, that stated its plans to create the third positing district in Poland and the Czech Republic,'' he said.

''Military infrastructure is being restored in the Baltic States and created in Asia under the NATO flag. It is NATO that adopts new members, disregarding statements made in 1990s that the alliance will not expand," Gen Bordyuzha said.

''It is not surprising that Russia and the CSTO in general have many times made statements about their concerns about building up military potential in Europe,'' he noted.

The CSTO comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

UNI

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