Top Russian officials say it is now clear that
a proposed U.S. missile defense system in eastern Europe is aimed at Russia.
The officials say Friday the speed in which U.S. and
Polish negotiators reached an agreement on the proposed system - during the
mounting crisis with Georgia - proves it is not related to any missile threat
Russia: Poland risks attack because of US missiles
By JIM HEINTZ, Associated Press Writer
MOSCOW - A top Russian general said Friday
that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base
exposes the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by
nuclear weapons, the
Interfax news agency reported.
The statement by Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn
is the strongest threat that Russia has issued against the plans to put
missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations.
A top Russian general, General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, also said the U.S.-Polish
agreement is aggravating already strained relations between Moscow and
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in the Georgian capital Tblisi, says
she hopes to sign the missile shield treaty soon.
U.S. and Polish negotiators reached a preliminary agreement Thursday to deploy
part of the U.S. missile defense system in Poland.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov immediately reacted by canceling a
planned visit to Poland next month. Russia sees the missile system as a threat
to its security.
Earlier, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk stressed that a number of details
remain to be resolved before the two countries sign a final agreement.
Mr. Tusk said the United States had agreed to Polish demands for greater
President Bush's spokeswoman, Dana Perino, says the White House welcomes
Thursday's preliminary agreement, saying missile defense if a huge contribution
to NATO's collective security.
The United States wants to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar
system in the Czech Republic as part of a system to counter missile attacks from
hostile states. Prague has already agreed to the deal.
Some information for
this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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