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Russia is taking countermeasures against US missile defense in Europe — Kremlin

May 12, 2016, 13:06 UTC+3 SOCHI SOCHI May, 12. /TASS

Vladimir Putin's press secretary said that "measures are being taken to maintain Russia’s security at the necessary level"

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© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

SOCHI, May 12. /TASS/. Russia is taking protective measures against the US missile defense in Europe; the question who the missile defense system is targeted at is still relevant, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has told the media.

While commenting on the deployment of the US missile defense in Europe Peskov said that "the question is not whether measures will be taken or not; measures are being taken to maintain Russia’s security at the necessary level."

"From the very outset we kept saying that in the opinion of our experts the deployment of an anti-missile defense poses a threat to Russia," he said.

Peskov recalled that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "repeatedly asked who that system was working against and who it would be working against in the future."

"At first there were lengthy explanations pointing to a potential missile threat from Iran. We all remember well those statements made at various summits of NATO, from Washington and from European capitals. Now we know that the situation involving Iran has changed cardinally. But the questions that have been repeatedly asked from Moscow, including those from President Putin, have retained their relevance," Peskov said.

"There’s nothing new. This work, this process of activating a missile defense system is well-known," Peskov said about the deployment of missile defense facilities in Romania. "All of our agencies concerned, which are responsible for maintaining the country’s defenses and security, are well familiar with these plans," Peskov stated.

A special ceremony confirming the operational readiness of the US ground-based missile defense system Aegis will be held at the military base in Deveselu, Olt county, in southern Romania later on Thursday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said more than once that Russia regards the deployment of MK-41 launchers in Romania as a violation of the 1987 INF Treaty, because the MK-41 is a dual purpose launcher. US ship-based systems of this type are capable of launching both interceptor missiles and medium-range cruise missiles Tomahawk.

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