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US Battles to Ease Russian Fears Over Missile Shield | Europe | Deutsche Welle | 19.04.2007
The United States struggled Thursday to ease Russian fears about plans to extend its vast missile shield into Europe, as Moscow brushed off for the time being an offer to cooperate on the project.

At NATO headquarters in Brussels, a US delegation persuaded Washington's partners that the shield poses no threat to Russia, even though Moscow is concerned the system could be widened in the future.


"The allies were convinced and are convinced that there are no implications of the United States' system for the strategic balance," NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said after the highest-level talks ever on the issue.


"Ten interceptors will not, cannot affect the strategic balance and 10 interceptors cannot pose a threat to Russia," he said, after meetings between the 26 NATO allies followed by a so-called NATO-Russia Council.


Washington announced in January plans to extend its missile shield into Europe to counter a potential missile attack from "rogue states" like Iran, and possibly North Korea.


It would involve 10 missile interceptors without warheads set up in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic to track any attack. This would be linked to an advance warning system, probably in the Caucasus.

by Fran on Fri Apr 20th, 2007 at 12:33:11 AM EST
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