- MOSCOW - Russia, already upset about the eastward expansion of NATO,
is warning of a new arms race if the U.S. deploys a new "star wars"
anti-ballistic missile defence system.
- "We are against the setting up of
such systems," Russian Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov told a news
conference in Friday. "Not just in Asia but in other parts of the
world, including Europe."
- The so-called Theater Missile Defense
(TMD) system is being developed to protect the U.S. and participating allies
from nuclear missile attacks by "rogue states." Special attention
is being paid to protecting Japan, which lies within striking distance
of North Korea.
- The TMD has outraged many powers. Russia
says the system would violate the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, in
which the United States and the Soviet Union agreed not to develop missile
- Washington wants to amend the treaty,
or even abolish it altogether. Moscow wants the treaty to remain as it
- China is angered by Taiwan's desire to
participate in the system. China considers Taiwan a renegade province,
and has said Taiwan's integration into the TMD would heighten tension between
China and the U.S.
- Russia says TMD could trigger a new missile
technology race between nations covered by the defence umbrella, and those
outside the shield.
- Ivashov cited Russia's continued refusal
to ratify the START-2 strategic missile reduction treaty.