Russian defense minister says US anti-missile system is no threat
MOSCOW (AFP) Aug 18, 2004
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Wednesday the creation of a US anti-missile defense system posed no threat to Russia.
"Personally, I don't see any threat to Russia's safety from the construction in the US of the first missile silos in its anti-missile defense system," Interfax quoted Ivanov as saying during a visit to a military base in the Caucasian region of North Ossetia.
Ivanov's comments came on the heels of an announcement by US President George W. Bush that the first ballistic missile interceptor had been installed at its silo in Fort Greely, in Alaska.
The Russian defense minister said he had been informed in 2000 that the US was planning to build ballistic missile interceptors in Alaska, adding that Russia was creating its own missile defense system.
"We have our own plans to develop strategic nuclear and space forces. I can assure you that the plans that we have will be rigourously carried out and observed," he said.
The construction of an US anti-missile system is a pet project of the Bush administration.