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Strongest Russian Warnings
on U.S. ABM Plans in Europe

April 11, 2007 (EIRNS)—Moscow may "have to create alternatives to the U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in eastern Europe," Kremlin chief spokesman Dmitri Peskov said in an interview with The Guardian in Moscow, published today. "We were extremely concerned and disappointed. We were never informed in advance about these plans. It brings tremendous change to the strategic balance in Europe, and to the world's strategic stability," Peskov said. "We feel ourselves deceived. Potentially we will have to create alternatives to this but with low cost and higher efficiency." Peskov said that any Russian alternative would be within "existing technologies", and said that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants "dialogue" and "negotiations" as well as military responses.

In another interview, Russian General Vladimir Belous, leading expert on anti-ballistic weaponry, said to The Guardian that "The geography of the [U.S. ballistic missile defense] deployment doesn't give any doubt the main targets are Russian and Chinese nuclear forces. The US bases represent a real threat to our strategic nuclear forces."

On April 7, the Duma unanimously passed a resolution against the U.S. BMD deployment, which states that: "Such decisions, which are useless in terms of preventing potential or imaginary threats from countries of the middle and far-east, are already bringing about a new split in Europe and unleashing another arms race."

The Guardian also quoted foreign ministry spokesman Sergei Ryabkov saying on U.S. offers for cooperation on the missile shield: "Despite certain signals received in recent days from the U.S. side ... I see no political foundation for it." Moscow must now take the bases "into account in our strategic planning." Moscow Center for Arms Control senior research scientist Yevgeny Myasnikov, told The Guardian that "Cold war thinking has prevailed, especially on the western side. Russia has been deeply disappointed by what has happened after 1991. NATO started to expand, and the US started to think it had won the cold war. We had hoped for a partnership. But it didn't happen."