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US warship in Black Sea irks Russia

June 12, 2011 20:35 IST

Russia has expressed its displeasure and concern over the arrival of a US warship in the Black Sea to take part in naval exercises with Ukraine, saying the move once again raised concern about America's plan to deploy missile shield in Europe .

In a statement issued the Russian Foreign Ministry has objected to the entry of USS Monterrey guided missile cruiser armed with AEGIS missile shield for joint Sea Breeze 2011 war games with Ukraine.

"We have to state that our concerns continue to be ignored and under the guise of talks on European missile shield cooperation, efforts are under way to build the missile shield configuration whose consequences are dangerous and about which we have several times informed our US and NATO partners," the statement said.

Moscow is resisting the deployment of the US missile shield in Europe, which will eventually kill its nuclear deterrence and second strike capability.

"While leaving aside the unsettled issue of a possible European missile shield architecture, Russia would like to know, in compliance with the Russia-NATO Lisbon summit decisions, what 'aggravation' the US command meant by moving the basic strike unit of the regional missile defence grouping being formed by NATO in the region, from the Mediterranean to the east," it said.

Incidentally the visit of the US Warship coincided with Russia's national day being celebrated on Sunday.

Twenty years ago this day Russia had elected its first ever President Boris Yeltsin by direct vote.

Yeltsin and his successors Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev's policies of appeasing the West for closer economic and technological cooperation have failed to yield desired results and Medvedev recently cautioned about the resumption of Cold War if Moscow's security concerns over the planned European missile shield were not addressed.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry USS Monterrey was sent to European waters as part of the Obama administration's phased adaptive approach to building the European segment of the global missile shield.

In the first stage a group of US warships with elements of missile shield would be stationed in the Adriatic, Aegean and Mediterranean seas to protect South Europe from possible missile strikes and could move in to the Black Sea in case of aggravation of situation.

Vinay Shukla in Moscow
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