NATO chief urges Russia to give up missile plan

09:10, 13 November 2008

"I hope it will not come to the stationing of those missiles..."

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Joop Scheffer on Wednesday urged Russia to give up its plan to deploy missiles in its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, news reports said.

    "I hope it will not come to the stationing of those missiles. I am not going to speculate in any way about NATO`s reaction. The missiles are not there yet. I hope they will not get there," he told a news conference in Tallinn, capital of Estonia, after talks with Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip.

    De Hoop Scheffer said NATO`s door is wide open and both Ukraine and Georgia may become its member states, but those countries that want to join the transatlantic alliance should show their achievements, the Baltic News Service reported.

    For his part, Ansip said his country supports NATO`s open policy and will actively engage in NATO`s operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

    The NATO chief was in Estonia to attend a two-day NATO meeting on Ukraine`s aspirations to join the alliance.

    Russia sees NATO`s push into eastern Europe as a threat to its security and opposes NATO`s expansion.

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier this month that Russia would deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania, "to neutralize, if necessary, a missile defense system," apparently referring to the proposed U.S. anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.


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