Russia to settle scores with US in Belarus

Russia threatens to deploy short-range missiles and bombers in neighboring Belarus in response to US missile defense plans in Europe.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Moscow's ambassador to Minsk Alexander Surikov said that Russia may station tactical short-range surface-to surface Iskander missiles and strategic bombers in Belarus to counter Washington's planned missile defense shield in Poland and a radar base the Czech Republic, Russian news agencies reported.

"We could be talking about the possible basing of Iskander missiles, the possible basing of strategic bombers in Belarus, Kaliningrad and so on," Surikov said.

"When Poland signs the agreement with the American side about hosting elements of the missile defense system, then we can discuss some additional aspects of military-technical cooperation with Belarus. We will counter the way we have to," he added.

Seiko said Moscow will not send nuclear weapons to Belarus, which in 1994 --along with several other ex-Soviet nations-- surrendered its nuclear arsenals to Russia.

Top Russian generals had earlier said that Moscow could deploy its new Iskander missiles in response to the deployment of the US missile interceptors in Poland and a radar tracking site in the Czech Republic.

Russia strongly opposes the US planned missile shield in Europe, considering it as a great threat to its security.



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