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Friday, 27 April 2007

US anti-missile deployment raises 'mutual destruction' threat: Putin

Cold War II Update

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that a US anti-missile system planned for deployment in eastern Europe would greatly heighten the risk of mutual destruction, a news agency reported.

"The threat of causing mutual damage and even destruction increases many times," Putin was quoted as saying by Interfax after a meeting with Czech President Vaclav Klaus in Moscow.

The Pentagon says the anti-missile system based partially in the Czech Republic would be for defence only against minor military powers such as Iran and could have no effect against Russia's enormous missile arsenal.

However, Putin said the range of the system, which is designed to shoot down overflying missiles, would extend right to the Ural mountains, covering the European section of Russia.

"These systems will control Russian territory up to the Urals if we do not take counter measures -- and we will do this," he warned, according to Interfax.