Schroeder criticises U.S. missile defence plans for Eastern Europe

Former German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, has criticised U.S. plans to build missile defence facilities in Eastern Europe. He called the idea dangerous and absurd.

Schroeder said it has been rightly viewed as an attempt to establish an encirclement policy, which goes against the  interests of Europe.

He said the exact opposite was needed, and Russia must be aligned as closely as possible to Europe and European structures.

Earlier French President Jacques Chirac also opposed the US plans saying they could reopen old divisions on the continent.