White House defends missile defense after Russian warning

November 23, 2011 20:00

WASHINGTON - The White House said on Wednesday that US and NATO plans to deploy a European missile shield by 2020 remain on track, after Russian warned it would arm itself with missiles able to defeat the shield.

"In multiple channels, we have explained to Russian officials that the missile defense systems planned for deployment in Europe do not and cannot threaten Russia's strategic deterrent," said White House national security council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

"Its implementation is going well and we see no basis for threats to withdraw from it," he said, adding "We will not in any way limit or change our deployment plans in Europe."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday in Moscow that Russia would ramp up its early-waring radar to protect its nuclear missile sites, deploy weapons that could overcome a shield, and potentially target missile defense installations to its south and west.

Washington said Moscow had no reason to worry.

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