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Russia Warns U.S. Against Deploying Final Phases of Missile Shield

Russia on Friday declared no compromise would be possible over U.S. missile defense plans for Europe should Washington proceed with deployment toward the end of this decade of interceptors capable of defeating intermediate-range ballistic missiles and ICBMs, RIA Novosti reported.

Under the Obama administration's "phased adaptive approach" for European missile defense, sometime around 2018 next-generation Standard Missile 3 Block 2A interceptors are to be fielded in Poland, followed two years later by even more capable SM-3 Block 2B missiles. Moscow opposes the deployment of the sophisticated interceptors as a direct threat to its own long-range nuclear forces.

"When the implementation of the third and then fourth and subsequent stages of the phased adaptive approach on the (U.S.) global defense system begins, the situation could alter for us," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

Russia has threatened to deploy short-range Iskander ballistic missiles in a Russian exclave that borders Poland if the SM-3 interceptors are fielded absent a legally binding agreement that governs their usage, which Washington thus far has refused to provide.

Ryabkov renewed Kremlin threats of "compensatory" responses if no compromise is reached on the matter.

The official said Moscow already has the comprehensive details of U.S. antimissile systems planned for fielding in Europe, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

"We have technical data about the number of interceptors, the set of launch-tracking tools and warning radars, the new platforms such as ground-based launchers and additional cruisers and destroyers," Ryabkov said to journalists.

Having that knowledge "makes us believe that there is still time to negotiate but this time is not infinite," ITAR-Tass quoted him as saying.

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