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Russia warns of nuclear attack over US missile defense system

/ 08:35 AM March 23, 2015
Col. Greg Bradley, commander of the U.S. 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment talks to reporters as his troops place a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defense system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland, on Saturday, March 21, 2015 as part of joint exercise with Poland’s troops of the 37th Missile Squadron of Air Defense that is to demonstrate the U.S. Army’s capacity to deploy Patriot systems rapidly within NATO territory. The training is a part of a wider Atlantic Resolve operation being held at a time of armed conflict across NATO’s eastern border, in Ukraine and also involving Russia. (AP Photo / Czarek Sokolowski)

Col. Greg Bradley, commander of the U.S. 5th Battalion of the 7th Air Defense Regiment talks to reporters as his troops place a launching station of the Patriot air and missile defense system at a test range in Sochaczew, Poland, on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Russia is warning Denmark of a nuclear attack on its warships if it joins a US-led missile defense system in Europe. AP

BUCHAREST, Romania — Romanian officials insist a U.S.-led missile defense shield planned for Romania is for protecting NATO members from attacks — not a threat to Moscow.

US military armored vehicles are transported on a freight train near the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Sunday, March 15, 2015. According to local media and Romanian defense ministry the vehicles will take part in military exercises in the Black Sea region that started this weekend with NATO sea exercises involving ships USS Vicksburg, as well as a German auxiliary ship and frigates from Canada, Turkey, Italy and Romania.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

US military armored vehicles are transported on a freight train near the Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania, Sunday, March 15, 2015. According to local media and Romanian defense ministry the vehicles will take part in military exercises in the Black Sea region that started this weekend with NATO sea exercises involving ships USS Vicksburg, as well as a German auxiliary ship and frigates from Canada, Turkey, Italy and Romania. AP

The comments came after Russia’s ambassador to Denmark, Mikhail Vanin, said warships from the Scandinavian NATO country could become targets for Russian nuclear missiles if it joins the alliance’s missile defense system.

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In August, Danes agreed to contribute to NATO’s shield with at least one frigate with advanced radar capacity. Russia strongly opposes the missile defense system, with bases planned in the Romanian town of Deveselu and Poland.

Romanian Defense Minister Mirce Dusa said Sunday “we don’t agree with such a statement … the anti-missile system is a defense system,” echoing comments made earlier by the foreign minister.

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NATO also reacted, with alliance spokeswoman Oana Lungescu telling Danish daily Berlingske that NATO has told Russia its missile defense isn’t directed against them.

“Denmark is a staunch NATO ally and NATO will defend all its allies against any threat,” she wrote in an email, according to the newspaper. “We have made it clear that NATO’s missile defense is not directed at Russia or other countries but is intended as a defense against missile threats.”

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TAGS: Europe, missile defense system, Nuclear weapons, nukes, Romania, Russia, US
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