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Russia Vows Pointed Response to Encroaching U.S. Aegis Warships

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin promised there would be a pointed retaliation should any U.S. Aegis-equipped antimissile try to approach Russian waters, RIA Novosti reported on Monday.

Rogozin did not provide details on just how Russia would respond "in the sharpest manner" to any U.S. missile destroyer that strays near the nation's territory.

Deployment of warships equipped with Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense technology, including Standard Missile 3 interceptors, forms a central component of the Obama administration's plan for European missile defense.

Moscow opposes the planned fielding of increasingly sophisticated land- and sea-based SM-3 interceptors around Europe, seeing in the project a U.S.-NATO scheme to undermine Russia's long-range nuclear missile forces. The Kremlin does not accept allied insistence that the evolving missile shield is aimed at protecting the continent from potential ballistic missile strikes from the Middle East.

Rogozin told RIA Novosti the Obama administration's missile defense plan was feeding "an arms race."

Still, he said Russia had no intention of fielding missiles in foreign nations. "We have never placed our interceptor missiles near U.S. borders on ridiculous fabricated pretexts such as 'protecting our American friends from Canada and Honduras," the deputy prime minister said. "But they do, on the pretext of protecting us and Europe from 'bad guys in Iran and North Korea.'"

While Russia has made no announcement of plans to deploy missiles in foreign countries, it has repeatedly threatened to field short-range Iskander ballistic missiles in the Kaliningrad -- a Russian exclave that borders NATO member states Poland and Lithuania -- if its concerns on NATO missile defense are not addressed.

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