Development of U.S. missile shield in Europe calls into question some Russian-U.S. nuclear cut deals

The development of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe might disrupt certain Russian-U.S. military agreements, says Russian State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov.

The development of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe might disrupt certain Russian-U.S. military agreements, says Russian State Duma international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov.

"The U.S. desire to deploy this system may pose a threat to global strategic stability and call into question some agreements on nuclear arms and missile technology reductions that exist between Russia and the U.S.," Pushkov told Interfax on Wednesday in light of the first practical test of the marine component of the European missile defense system that the U.S. and its NATO allies conducted recently.

The U.S. has claimed repeatedly that this system is not targeted against Russia but is designed to defend the NATO member states and U.S. bases in Europe from Iranian ballistic missiles.

Pushkov pointed out that missile defense apparently remains a very serious factor of disagreements of aspects of strategic interaction between the U.S. and Russia.

Having conducted the test in the Irish Sea, the Barack Obama administration showed the absolute continuity of the line pursued by the George W. Bush administration, which turned the deployment of missile defense elements in Europe into one of the main goals of the U.S.' military-political strategy, Pushkov said.

"It looks like this line would enjoy support from both U.S. parties, the Republican and the Democratic, that is, a new administration coming to the White House in a year and a half should hardly be expected to significantly change the approach," he said.

While some nuances might be reconsidered, the decision on deploying missile defense elements in Europe on the whole will be implemented, Pushkov said. "And we should make proper conclusions from this," he said.

Pushkov recalled that some in Russia had maintained for a long time that concerns about the U.S.' intention to develop a missile defense system in Europe were "excessive and groundless," that they were merely plans that might not be implemented and that their threat was overestimated. "Now it turns out that the worries were not useless: these plans are being pursued and will certainly be implemented in this or that form," he said.

The deployment of such missiles in the near vicinity of Russia's borders "only confirms the assumptions that this system is aimed at neutralizing Russia's nuclear missile potential," he said.

It was reported earlier that the U.S. and its NATO allies had successfully conducted the first practical test of the marine component of the European missile defense system.

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