MOSCOW - Moscow has threatened to deploy tactical missiles in Belarus and on its own borders if talks with Washington on European missile defense plans fail, a senior diplomatic source told Interfax news agency on Monday.
The source said that Moscow might set up Iskander missiles in Belarus and in Russia's Krasnodar region. It has previously threatened to deploy missile launch pads in Russia's Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.
"This would allow us to counter the threats to Russia's strategic forces in case US missile defense components are deployed close to our borders," the source said.
Russia sees the US missile defense system in Europe, which is not due to be fully installed until 2020, as a threat to its strategic nuclear potential. Moscow has threatened a new 'arms race' with Washington if its concerns are ignored.
Russia said it would deploy Iskander missiles during the George W. Bush administration, but suspended those plans in 2009 after US President Barack Obama scaled down his predecessor's plans. Russia still says the revised system threatens its security.
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