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21 Aug, 2008 01:12

Moscow: U.S. missile shield may spark arms race

Russia's Foreign Ministry fears the deployment of a U.S. missile shield just 70 kilometres from its border will lead to an arms race in Europe and beyond.

The statement came after Washington and Warsaw signed a deal to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland, and strengthen military ties between the two countries. A corresponding radar station is to be deployed in the Czech Republic.

Moscow accuses the U.S. of attempting to disrupt balance and stability in the world. On Wednesday, the day the agreement was signed, oil prices soared to $115 a barrel in response to increased political tensions.

According to Russia, the U.S. missile shield in Europe has nothing to do with threats from Iran as the Middle Eastern state is many years from having the capability to deliver missile strikes on Europe. In July Iran tested its longest-range missile, which it claims is capable of reaching Israel.

Syrian response

Syria says it is ready to host a Russian missile system as a counterweight to U.S. plans.

The Syrian president Bashar Assad is going to discuss this in the framework of Russia-Syria military and technical cooperation during his working visit to Russia. (FULL STORY)