White House will not change missile defense plans despite Medvedev’s warning

President Barack Obama in Santiago, Chile, March 21, 2011.

From FoxNews:  The U.S. is not planning on making any changes to its missile defense system in Europe, a U.S. official said Wednesday, despite a warning from Russia’s president that Moscow will target the U.S. system if Washington goes ahead and deploys the planned shield.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia will station missiles in the country’s westernmost Kaliningrad region and other areas if the U.S. goes ahead with deployment. The warning came less than two weeks after Medvedev met with President Obama in Hawaii and the two offered vague assurances on cooperation. 

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor responded that the U.S. has explained through "multiple channels" the purpose of the defense system and that it’s not aimed as a strategic deterrent to Russia. He said the U.S. will make no changes to the program.  

"Implementation of the New (Strategic Arms Reduction) Treaty is going well and we see no basis for threats to withdraw from it," Vietor said in a statement given to Fox News. "We continue to believe that cooperation with Russia on missile defense can enhance the security of the United States, our allies in Europe and Russia, and we will continue to work with Russia to define the parameters of possible cooperation. However, in pursuing this cooperation, we will not in any way limit or change our deployment plans in Europe."  (photo: AP)

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