Russia says concerned at Romania hosting U.S. missiles

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia Friday said it was concerned by Romania’s decision to host interceptor missiles as part of a U.S. plan to protect Europe and demanded clarification.
MOSCOW
Fri Feb 5, 2010 2:14pm EST

Romania said Thursday its top defense body had approved the deployment, which Washington says is aimed at defending against current and emerging ballistic missile threats from Iran.

“We certainly have concerns in this regard. There is a demand for clarification,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

The Romanian deployment is part of a revamped U.S. missile defense approach taken by President Barack Obama after he scrapped a plan for a radar site and interceptor rockets in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Russia had fiercely opposed that deployment, saying the shield could be used to undermine its nuclear deterrent. The Kremlin threatened to deploy Iskander missiles near Poland’s border if it went ahead.

Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said Friday that Russia wanted “assurances” that the system could not intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“Maybe it is against Iran, but this system could be aimed against any other country, including against Russia’s strategic nuclear potential,” he said in comments on Echo Moskvy radio.

Rogozin said the plans would not affect Russia’s talks with the United States on a new nuclear

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