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US Congress Democrats fail to ban missile defense bases in Europe

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Democrats in the U.S. Congress tried Thursday to ban the construction of missile defense bases in Central Europe, but their initiative failed to gain the necessary number of votes.
WASHINGTON, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - Democrats in the U.S. Congress tried Thursday to ban the construction of missile defense bases in Central Europe, but their initiative failed to gain the necessary number of votes.

A total of 299 congressmen voted against the amendment urging a cut in 2008 defense spending by over $1 billion, in particular the removal of $150 million in expenditures on radar deployment in the Czech Republic, and 127 voted for the measure.

Earlier, $160 million allocated for missile defense bases in Poland was removed from the defense budget. U.S. President George Bush's initial request for 2008 missile defense spending in Poland and the Czech Republic was for $310 million.

The U.S. announced plans in January to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a missile defense radar in the Czech Republic as part of its missile shield aimed at countering possible threats from "rogue" states like Iran or North Korea.

Russia has repeatedly condemned the plan, claiming it could be a "destabilizing factor" and could threaten its national security, and warned that "appropriate measures" would be taken in response.

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