Russia's offer to U.S. on missile deployment
11/24/2008 7:50 AM ET
(RTTNews) - Moscow repeated its willingness to call off its move to deploy missiles in its Baltic Sea enclave of Kaliningrad to counter the proposed U.S. missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
If the incoming Obama administration drops deployment plans for a missile defense shield, then "questions of our retaliatory measures will disappear by themselves," Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told reporters at a forum in St Petersburg Monday.
Russia is hoping for 'more constructive' negotiations on a key nuclear arms treaty set to expire next year, he added.
Earlier this month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to deploy Iskander missiles having a range of up to 400 kilometers in the Kaliningrad region between Lithuania and Poland "to neutralize, if necessary, the U.S. anti-missile system."
Moscow looks at the missile defense shield as a potential security threat to Russia, and Medvedev warned that the American anti-missile system would be jammed electronically.
The statement evoked strong concern from Washington as well as Brussels.
Later, Medvedev said during an Asia-Pacific forum in Peru that he is ready to withdraw the threat if Wasington cancels its missile defense plans.