US military interfering in Russia's backyard: Moscow

4 hours ago

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's armed forces chief on Tuesday compared a US plan to station an anti-missile shield in central Europe to Moscow deploying missiles in Latin America.

Chief of Staff Yury Baluyevsky said on Russia Today television that the US plan to station a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptors in Poland amounted to meddling in Russia's backyard.

"When one of the viewers asked about (Russia) deploying missiles in Venezuela, to defend Venezuela from Iranian and other missiles, I would like to note that our partners from the United States are doing exactly what our viewer suggested us to do," Baluyevsky said.

Washington says it needs the missile shield to defend against possible threats from Iran and says the limited system could not threaten Russia's vast nuclear arsenal.

But Baluyevsky insisted that "those anti-missile rockets and that radar will be definitely aimed at Russia."

"Iran has no potential to manufacture an intercontinental ballistic missile able to reach the territory of the United States... at least until 2020," Baluyevsky said.

He said that "someone" in the United States still hoped "to secure the impunity of using weapons without getting something in return."

During an EU-Russia summit in Portugal last month, President Vladimir Putin likened the Pentagon's plan to deploy defensive weapons in central Europe to the Soviet Union's 1962 deployment of nuclear missiles in Cuba, which led the world to the brink of nuclear war.