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5 Oct, 2007 06:58

Duma offers joint pow-wow over U.S. ABMs in Europe

The Russian State Duma is planning to invite U.S., Polish and Czech lawmakers to Moscow to discuss American plans to set up a missile shield in Europe.

Russian legislators say that the U.S. plans will threaten security not only in Europe, but also in the rest of the world. As an alternative, they propose the use of the Russian radar station in Gabala in Azerbaijan.

“The installation of a missile defence system in Europe will impact negatively on the trust built up by the Russian and U.S. Presidents. It will damage the relationship between the countries. It also goes against the interests of the European community, which opposes the plan,” Aleksey Ostrovsky from the Duma International Affairs Committee stated. 

The United States explained the expediency of its missile defence system citing possible threats from so-called rogue states.

Despite Moscow's earlier proposal for the joint use of the Gabala radar station in Azerbaijan, the U.S. says it will go ahead with its plans.

Russia has always strongly opposed the deployment of a missile shield in its former backyard in Eastern Europe, describing it as a threat to its national security.