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Polticians criticize Russia's missile threats

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Polticians criticize Russia's missile threats
Photo: DPA
14:51 CET+01:00
German politicians have criticized Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's threat to station missiles at the Polish border after Barack Obama won the US presidential election on Tuesday.

After the US election on Wednesday, Medvedev announced that he would position short range missiles in Kalingrad between Lithuania and Poland as a reaction to the planned US missile defence system in central Europe.

“That sends the wrong signal at the wrong time,” Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after talks with his Danish counterpart, urging Moscow to consider Obama's election as a chance for a new beginning. “Russia isn't an easy partner but I am convinced that we will only be able to solve the current crises together,” he added.

Head of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) Guido Westerwelle on Thursday warned that Medvedev's announcement shows the real danger of a rearmament. “Russia's plans are as wrong as America's intended missile deployment in Poland and the Czech Republic," he told Westwerwelle daily Frankfurter Rundschau.

Centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD) parliamentary group leader Peter Struck, lon the other hand, said Russia's concerns were "understandable.”

"That is what we were afraid of," Struck told radio broadcaster Deutschland Funk, adding that he hoped Obama would relax the "rigorous attitude" of US President George W. Bush.

Eckart von Klaeden, foreign policy spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), appealed to Russia to improve its relations with the US. "The election of a new president and especially of Barack Obama offers the possibility for a new beginning," he told radio broadcaster RBB.

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