U.S. missile-defense elements in Europe could be Russian targets

Russia warned that it could target some of the U.S. missile defense systems that Washington wants to deploy in Poland and Czech Republic, the Interfax news agency reported.

"If we see that the facilities pose a threat to Russia's security, the facilities will be objects for plans of our forces. Whether strategic, nuclear or otherwise - that's a technical question," Gen. Yuri Baluyevksy was quoted as saying.

Baluyevksy made the comments a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates held talks with top Russian officials in Moscow, including President Vladimir Putin. For months Russia has voiced strong opposition to the U.S. missile-defense plan.

The United States says the system would be aimed at countering the threat of possible missile attacks by countries such as Iran and North Korea. Russia has claimed, however, that it would undermine the European balance of military power.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova