Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Russia 'halts missile deployment'


Russia's military has announced it will halt its plans to deploy short-range missiles in Kaliningrad, Russia's Interfax news agency has said.

A Russian military official said a change in US attitude had prompted the latest decision, Interfax reported.

President Dmitry Medvedev announced the plan in November last year, saying it was to counteract US plans for an anti-missile shield based in Europe.

Russia had said it saw the US missile shield plan as a direct threat.

The US has insisted that its plan to base radars and interceptor missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic is designed solely to guard against attack by "rogue states", such as Iran.

Mr Medvedev said in November that short-range Iskander missiles would be deployed in the western enclave of Kaliningrad, bordering Poland, to neutralise any perceived US threat.

Bu on Wednesday, Interfax quoted an unnamed military official as saying that "the implementation of these plans has been halted in connection with the fact that the new US administration is not rushing through plans to deploy" parts of its missile defence shield in eastern Europe.

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