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Czechs Protest Russian Threats Against US Missiles

Czech officials are accusing Russia of interfering in their internal affairs by threatening military action against a planned U.S. missile defense system on Czech soil.

The Czech Defense Ministry Thursday called Russia's reaction to the defense shield pact inappropriate rhetoric.

Russia has threatened to take military action if the United States deploys missile defense radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland.

Washington and Prague signed a deal this week. Talks with Poland are still under way.

Washington says the system is aimed at averting a possible missile strike from Iran. Russia calls the system a threat to its security.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says this week's Iranian missile tests are evidence the missile defense shield is needed.

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