Russia: Missile threat stands, only as response to US policy

Russia said its threat to deploy missiles near Poland still stands, but stressed it will do so only if the Unites States pushes ahead with a European missile shield. A Foreign Ministry statement on the divisive issue Friday followed a report earlier this week suggesting Russia was backing off its threat to deploy Iskander missiles near the Polish border in response to a US push for missile-defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic. The ministry stressed that Russia would only deploy the missiles if the US implements the Bush administration's plans for the facilities. President Dmitry Medvedev has said the same thing. The ministry also reiterated that Russia is ready to work with the US and Europe to evaluate and defend against missile threats.