Jan 22, 2007

Depends On Your Definition Of "Rogue Nation"

U.S. asks, who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?

Placing a U.S. anti-missile system on Polish and Czech soil would strengthen Europe's defense against a rogue nuclear attack but would not threaten Russia, a senior U.S. official was quoted on Monday as saying.

A top Russian general criticised Washington's plan but U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried told the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita that Moscow had nothing to fear.

"We believe that building infrastructure of the anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech (Republic) will significantly boost the defences of a united Europe," Fried said. "I want to stress that the anti-missile system is not aimed at Russia." ...

The site would be the biggest element of the MDI shield outside the United States. U.S officials say the system will protect it and its allies from missiles that could be fired from North Korea, Iran or other "rogue regimes." ...

Russia, Poland's former Warsaw Pact overlord, sees the shield as weakening its own security and has warned Warsaw it could take unspecified measures if it is built in Poland.

"Our analysis shows that the placing of a radio locating station in the Czech Republic and anti-missile equipment in Poland is a real threat to us," Russian news agencies quoted space forces commander Lt.-Gen. Vladimir Popovkin as saying.

Polish and U.S. diplomats say Russia's main concern is that the shield might weaken its nuclear deterrent and disturb the military balance in Europe.

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