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Influential Russian Duma MP Asks Four Questions Over European ABM

Missile Defense LaunchMoscow, 16 May: The Monday (16 May) roundtable in the State Duma on the issue of European missile defence marked the first public discussion on the matter, to be followed by a number of similar events, head of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev has said. He said when summing up the results of the debate that there were four large blocs of issues which remained unclear.

"Today we do not know the nature or the degree of seriousness of threats which could come from third world countries. Neither do we know whether the same threats from them will still be there in five, 10 or 20 years' time," Kosachev said, adding that he was referring to Iran, Pakistan and a number of other countries.

He said that the operation to kill Al-Qa'idah leader Usamah Bin-Ladin in Pakistan showed the whole world just how unstable the situation in this country was. "Nuclear weapons there could fall into anyone's hands at any moment," Kosachev said.

He said that one more unclear issue was that "we do not know yet what the Americans want to achieve when promoting missile defence in Europe, to what extent this was being done against Iran and perhaps other countries and whether, along the way, this system could also be developed against Russia".

The third bloc of issues which, according to Kosachev, still needs to be clarified is that at present Russia "does not know how NATO is going to react to this US initiative because there are different opinions on the issue within the alliance".

Finally, the fourth bloc of issues is that "there is no final clarity as to the direction in which our nuclear missile potential will be developing and how much we will allow ourselves to spend on this sector", Kosachev said.

"The only good news is that we have enough time - many years - to try to reach an agreement on the issue under discussion," he said.

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Russia, Nuclear Issues, Missile Defense - Russia News - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

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