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Russia warns Lithuania on US missile defense

Posted by Kris Roman on July 6, 2008

Russian lawmakers warned Lithuania against agreeing to place U.S. missile defense sites in the Baltic country, saying Wednesday that such a move could trigger a Russian military buildup in the region.

Russia could deploy more troops to its Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad if Lithuania offers its soil for the deployment of U.S. missile interceptors, said a statement approved unanimously by the Kremlin-controlled lower house, the State Duma.

Lithuania’s Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas was in Washington on Wednesday for talks with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said he did not know if the two were discussing the possibility of placing missile-defense components in the former Soviet country on Russia’s northern border.

But on Tuesday, the Pentagon had said Lithuania would be a “good alternative” to Poland if negotiations with Warsaw collapse. Poland has demanded increased U.S. military aid in exchange for approving the deal.

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Posted in NATO, Rusia & Lithuania, Russia against Washington-Brussels-Tel Aviv | 1 Comment »