Ukraine seeks talks with Romania, US on missile shield

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Ukraine is seeking consultations with Bucharest and Washington on the proposed deployment of US missile interceptors in Romania, Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko said Wednesday.

"In the context of the steps taken to consolidate security, we think that the aim should be to reinforce security of Europe as a whole and to take into account all political aspects of this issue," Gryshchenko told a press conference in Bucharest.

"We are interested in having consultations with both our Romanian and our American partners," he added.

Ukraine shares a 650-kilometre (300-mile) border with Romania.

Bucharest and Washington two weeks ago concluded talks on the deployment of 24 missile interceptors in a former airbase in southern Romania, Deveselu.

They insisted they would be part of a purely defensive system.

But the agreement angered Moscow, which said it would seek legal guarantees that the United States does not intend to deploy a missile defence system aimed at its strategic nuclear forces.

President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday warned the West it would face a new Cold War if it failed to address Russia's concerns over this issue.

Medvedev told reporters that the US decision to push ahead with construction of the defence system despite Russia's objections will force Moscow "to take retaliatory measures -- something that we would very much rather not do."

© 2011 AFP

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