August 16, 2008

Russia: Missile Shield is Like ‘Dead Cat’

A missile defense shield system the United States hopes to deploy in Eastern Europe is like "a dead cat," a Russian diplomat says.

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to NATO, says Poland and the Czech Republic, which have agreed to host elements of a U.S. anti-ballistic missile system, received "a dead cat" from the United States because the effectiveness of the system can only be tested by a thermonuclear war, RIA Novosti reported Saturday from NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Poland Thursday signed an agreement with the United States to host 10 anti-missile missiles on its soil. The Czech Republic agreed last month to host an associated radar station. The United States says the system is meant to guard against a nuclear missile strike from a "rogue nation" such as Iran, but Russia insists its real aim is to diminish its influence among former Soviet bloc nations.

Rogozin told RIA Novosti Poland had effectively confirmed that Russia is the focus of the missile shield by signing the agreement.

"The Poles should be thanked for helping reveal the strategic goal of the U.S. missile defense plan," he said.