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Russia: U.S. missile shield deal complicates security

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A U.S. deal with the Czech Republic on missile defense complicates European security and cancels out consultations with Moscow on the missile shield, media quoted a Russian Foreign Ministry source as saying.

“A step has been taken ... which in our view has not added to security on the European continent. More than that, it has complicated problems of security,” Interfax news agency quoted a senior ministry source as saying on Tuesday.

The news agency also quoted a ministry source as saying the U.S. deal with the Czech Republic “in effect cancelled out” an agreement between Moscow and Washington to consult on the system.

The United States and the Czech government signed an agreement in Prague on Tuesday allowing the U.S. military to build a radar station southwest of the Czech capital.

The United States says the shield is needed to defend from missile attacks from what it calls rogue states, specifically Iran. Moscow says the system is unnecessary and will threaten its own security.

Moscow and Washington had agreed to explore ways of easing the Kremlin’s concerns the shield would be used to spy on and target Russia’s own missile systems.

Proposals under discussion had included stationing Russian military officers at the shield sites and providing real-time video monitoring of activity at those sites.

“Even those half-hearted promises relating to confidence-building and monitoring measures which our American partners gave us have been in effect cancelled out by them,” Interfax quoted the ministry source as saying.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, editing by Christian Lowe

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