Russia warns of befitting response to US missile shield

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Moscow, Feb 4 (UNI) Russia today reiterated its warning that if US missile defence elements are deployed in Poland and Czech Republic, they will adequately be targeted by the relevant Russian systems.

''If the Polish and Czech leadership make the decision on missile defence deployment, one should realise that by that they will be making a choice, a strategic choice, that will affect the security of these countries, because the relevant US systems will become a subject of control and, possibly, in the worst case, a target for Russian defence systems,'' the chairman of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) International Committee, Konstantin Kosachyov said.

''There is no doubt that the US third positioning area targets not Iran but seeks to undercut Russia's nuclear potential,'' Mr Kosachyov told Interfax news agency.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party leader and presidential candidate Gennady Zyuganov on Monday said Russia should first resolve its internal problems before turning to international ones.

''They should talk less about the foreign policy, they should rattle the saber less. They should concentrate on domestic problems,'' Mr Zyuganov said at a press conference.

''Modern Russia does not have a foreign policy," the Commnist leader noted, adding ''The national administration has made a number of mistakes in the defence sphere, and the recent Atlantic voyage of Russian warships was a PR stunt that had nothing to do with security.'' ''Even the former Soviet Union never affirmed the possibility of the first strike, although we had 6,000 nuclear warheads on 15-minute standby,'' he said.

''Russia must develop its economy and invest in intellect and science in order to assume a strong foreign policy position,'' stressed the communist leader Zyuganov.

UNI XC SZ RN1745

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