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Russia Not To Deploy Missiles Near Poland If U.S. Abandons Missile Shield Plan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that his country will not deploy missiles in Kaliningrad, a Russian territory between Poland and Lithuania, if the U.S. backs out of its plan to station a missile defense shied in eastern Europe.

"We have said through the voice of our president that if the third zone of positioning of the US anti-missile shield is created, one of the measures to neutralize the threats to Russia's security that would inevitably arise will be the deployment of Iskander systems in the Kaliningrad region," he said, adding the missiles would be deployed "only if the third zone of positioning really takes shape."

Last Thursday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had announced Moscow's plans to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, saying that the move was to counter the proposed US anti-missile system to be deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic by 2013-2014.

However, the U.S. maintains that the move to station the missile shield in eastern Europe is aimed to protect the region from possible missile attacks from rogue countries like Iran, and stresses that it is not aimed at Russia. The proposed US missile shield system includes the deployment of a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland.

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