Russia Targets NATO Missile Shield

Russia could take steps of "a technically military nature" if its objections to NATO's planned missile defense system are not heeded, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Serbian daily Tuesday.

"If our partners in the future continue to ignore out position we should protect our interests by other means... Concrete measures might be needed... a response of a technically military nature," Lavrov told Belgrade's Vecernje Novosti in an interview published Tuesday.

"We would not wish such a development," he added.

Lavrov made his comments in light of the deal signed mid-September between Washington and Serbia's neighbor Romania to host U.S. missile interceptors.

His comments come on the same day as a visit by Romanian President Traian Basescu to Belgrade.

"I am forced to conclude that the signing of the deal (between Bucharest and Washington) is an additional link in a chain of events that shows that the U.S. has stepping up their plans to construct their missile shield without taking into account Russia's concerns," Lavrov said.

Lavrov said Monday in Moscow that Russia wants to break the deadlock over the missile shield in Europe by talks between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.

According to NATO and Washington, the planned Europe-wide ballistic missile shield is aimed at thwarting missile threats from Iran. Moscow has expressed concern that the shield could target Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles used as nuclear deterrents.

Source: Agence France Presse

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