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    Russia to Respond to US Missile Defense in Poland - Putin

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    Russia will be forced to respond adequately to the deployment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) missile defense system in Poland and the Western alliance’s estward military buildup, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

    TURKU (Sputnik) – Russia has repeatedly expressed its concern about the creation of a US-designed ballistic missile defense system in Europe, approved at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon. Poland and Romania joined Spain and Turkey in agreeing to deploy elements of the system on their territories.

    "Now they are saying about the deployment of the same system of radars and interceptors in Poland, that is the Baltic Sea region. What are we to do? How are we to stop these threats? We will have to act accordingly," Putin said alongside his Finnish counterpart.

    Putin addressed a series of confirmations by NATO allies, Canada being the latest this week, to each contribute 4,000 troops in Eastern Europe.

    "The movement of our troops on our territory is declared as an element of aggressive behavior, while NATO military exercises near our borders for some reason are not declared as such. We believe that this is absolutely not fair and does not correspond to reality," he stressed.

    The United States’ Aegis Ashore system is expected to become operational in Poland in 2018. It is planned to form part of the European missile shield and be armed with land-based Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptors.

    In recent years, the United States has taken significant steps to deploy ballistic missile defense systems throughout Europe under the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA). The Aegis Ashore facility in Poland marks the third phase of the EPAA.

    Related:

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    US Missile Defense in Eastern Europe: How Russia Will Respond
    Moscow Has 'Right to Feel Threatened' by US Missile Defense in Europe
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    US missile shield, Aegis Ashore BMD complex, Vladimir Putin, Russia, Europe, Poland
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