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Russia Warns it May Target US Missiles in Europe


Russian news reports say a top defense official has warned that Russia may point ballistic weapons at a U.S. missile defense system in Europe.

News agencies Wednesday quote General Nikolai Solovtsyov as saying Russia may take the action if the United States moves forward with a missile defense plan in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The United States and Poland signed a missile defense agreement in Warsaw last month. It allows the United States to deploy 10 defensive missiles in Poland. The United States also plans to set up guidance radar in the Czech Republic.

The warning comes before Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets in Warsaw this week with his Polish counterpart, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, to discuss security issues.

Russian media report Wednesday that Lavrov will "firmly express" Russia's objection to the U.S. - Poland missile defense agreement.

Washington says the missile shield is designed to protect against what it says are threats from rogue countries, such as Iran. But Moscow rejects that reasoning and says the deployment of the system in Europe is designed to undermine Russia's own missile capability and threatens its security.

Lavrov is also expected to address differences with Poland over the developments in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Russia has recognized Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states and has set up diplomatic ties with both regions.

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