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Keep US missiles out, Putin warns Poland

CNN-IBN
Nov 25, 2008 at 07:18pm IST

New Delhi: Russia's Prime Minister Putin has warned he will deploy short range Iskandar missiles targeting Poland and the Czech Republic if they allow US missile defences on their territory.

At the same time, President Medvedev held out the olive branch to US President-elect Barack Obama. Russia, he said was keen to resume talks on cutting nuclear arsenals.

Putin and Medvedev both reaffirmed that Russia will scrap its plan to deploy short-range Iskander missiles in its westernmost Kaliningrad region, if the United States cancels its plans to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a related radar in the Czech Republic.

EARLY WARNING: Putin warned Poland and Czech Republic against allowing US missile defences on their territory.

Medvedev threatened to deploy missiles in Kaliningrad in a speech a day after Obama's election.

Obama has been ambivalent on missile defence, initially indicating he would go ahead with the Bush plan on missile defence and later suggesting a re-think.

On Monday, Putin said that Russia so far has failed to negotiate an extension or replacement of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) in talks with US officials, but added that a deal could be struck with Obama's administration.

START, which expires at the end of next year, significantly cuts US and Russian nuclear arsenals.

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