US, Czechs sign missile deal, upsetting Moscow
CZECH REPUBLIC: The United States signed a pact on Tuesday to build
part of a U.S. missile defense shield in the Czech Republic, prompting
neighboring Russia to warn it will react with military means if the
shield is deployed.
The U.S. and Czech foreign ministers toasted with champagne after
signing the accord to place a tracking radar southwest of Prague as part
of a system to protect against the perceived threat of missile attack
from countries such as Iran. But Russia, in a statement reminiscent of
Cold War rhetoric, warned the United States against deploying the shield
close to its borders.
“If the real deployment of an American strategic missile defense
shield begins close to our borders, then we will be forced to react not
with diplomatic methods, but with military-technical methods,” the
Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its www.mid.ru website.
It did not give specifics but analysts said the threat appeared aimed
at stoking European opposition to the shield.
Prague, Wednesday, Reuters