U.S. missile defense deployment in Europe "anti-Russia": Russian official


www.chinaview.cn 2007-07-18 22:20:25

MOSCOW, July 18 (Xinhua) -- The plan of establishing components of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe is clearly anti-Russian, a senior Russian Defense Ministry official said Wednesday.

"Any Iranian missile threat does not exist at present, and it will not exist for 15-20 years. The scientific and industrial base of Iran is unable to create either intercontinental ballistic missiles or long-range missiles," the chief of the ministry's international cooperation department, Lieutenant-General Yevgeny Buzhinsky, was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

"For this reason we have proposed to the Americans to jointly use the radar station in Gabala (Azerbaijan) and the station that is being built in Armavir for watching the progress of missiles programs of Iran and other Middle East countries," he said.

"As soon as we register the first test launch of a long-range missile, we shall have a minimum five-years in order to jointly prepare for the repulsion of the missile threat," Buzhinsky added.

He said the Gabala station is a tracking station with parameters that allow determining "trajectory characteristics of starting missiles in order to calculate sites of the launch and sites of the fall of the missiles."

According to him, the Armavir station will have still higher performance for determining coordinates of launched missiles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to U.S. President George W. Bush at the G8 summit on June 7 that the United States jointly use with Russia the Gabala radar base in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, to replace its plan to station missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic.

Bush described the proposal as "interesting" and said the two sides had formed a working group of experts to see how they could cooperate on missile defense.