General says Russia will counter US missile defense plans

A top Russian general warned on Tuesday that the military will respond to US missile defense plans with countermeasures, and said Washington's trust-building proposals have bogged down in diplomatic arguments. Lt. Gen. Yevgeny Buzhinsky told reporters that Russia was thinking about "asymmetrical" steps if the United States deploys missile defense elements in Europe. He said Moscow has no intention of building a similar missile shield, but refused to elaborate on what specific measures the military might take. Buzhinsky said Russia appreciated US proposals intended to soothe Russian concerns, but added they were not enough to change Moscow's perception that the US system would undermine its security. Washington has promised to delay activating the planned new sites in Poland and the Czech Republic unless Iran proves itself an imminent threat to Europe. It also offered to let Russian officers monitor the sites to make sure they are not directed against Russia.