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Russian general raises idea of pre-emptive strike against missile shield

19/05/2012

The warning by Gen. Nikolai Makarov followed the conclusion of the international Missile Defense Conference in Russia, where Russian officials lobbied against the missile shield.

“Taking into account the destabilizing nature of the missile defense system and, in particular, creating an illusion of an unpunishable strike, the decision about a pre-emptive use of force will be made in a period of heightened tension,” Makarov said.

The Obama administration and its European allies have been trying to ease Russia’s fears over the project by insisting that the system is directed toward countering the missile threat from the Middle East from which Russia also needs protection.

Since NATO approved the U.S.-designed system at last year’s summit, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey have agreed to deploy parts of it.

At a nuclear summit in South Korea, President Barack Obama could be heard asking Dmitry Medvedev for some “space” on the missile defense system in Europe, telling the Russian president he will have more “flexibility” after the November election.

This is my last election,” Obama said. “After my election I have more flexibility.”
Russian general raises idea of pre-emptive strike against missile shield

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