13:02 GMT16 January 2021
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    NATO's deployment of NATO air and missile defense systems near Russian borders is a threat to the country's security, according to Kremlin.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The deployment of air defense systems near Russia's borders undoubtedly poses a threat to the country, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday.

    "From the very beginning we have said that, according to experts — and we are certain of this, undoubtedly — the deployment of missile defense systems indeed poses a threat to the security of the Russian Federation," Peskov told reporters.

    All governmental agencies responsible for Russia's defense  keeping tabs on NATO's plans to deploy anti-ballistic missile systems, the spokesman added, saying that Moscow is taking appropriate security measures in light of the fact.

    "This is not news. This is a process aimed at furthering the anti-missile system. Of course, all our departments responsible for defense and national security are aware of these plans. The issue here is not the fact that [we] will take measures to ensure the necessary level of Russia's security <…>. I want to remind the president's frequently asked question — who will this system be directed against," Peskov stressed.

    Peskov reminded that US and European official had previously linked the missile shield deployment to Iran’s nuclear threat, which was addressed last year. Iran and six world powers struck a deal last July that saw Tehran scale down its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Russia subsequently pointed out that a NATO missile deterrent on its border was no longer needed.

    "We know that the situation with Iran has made a U-turn, while the question asked by Moscow, specifically by President Vladimir Putin [on why the missile defense project had not been scrapped] remains on the table," the spokesman noted.

    In April 2009, US President Barack Obama claimed that if the Iranian nuclear threat was eliminated, there would be no grounds for the United States to continue with the construction its missile defense system in Europe.


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    anti-missile system, anti-missile defense, NATO, Dmitry Peskov, Russia
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