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Russia Calls US Plans for Missile Defense in Europe a 'Mistake'

Russia says a U.S. plan to set up a missile defense system in central Europe is a "mistake."

A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that creating an anti-missile defense system in Europe will have "negative consequences for international security."

He says despite U.S. arguments that its interceptor missiles program would not be directed against Russia, Moscow has noticed what he called a "strategic component" consistently added to the U.S. armed forces in Europe.

The United States says it wants to have missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic to counter a possible long-range Iranian and North Korean missile threat in the future.

Russia argues that Iran and North Korea do not have missiles capable of striking Europe.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday that Iranian and North Korean arsenals are limited to medium-range missiles that pose no threat to Europe or the United States.

U.S. Defense Department officials have acknowledged that Iran does not currently possess long-range missiles, but they say it is important to stay one step ahead.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.