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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov Threatens to Put Missiles in Kaliningrad

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov warned on Wednesday that Moscow would base new missiles in Kaliningrad if Washington continued with its plans to set up a missile defense system in Central Europe.

The Russian exclave is bordered by European Union members Poland and Lithuania, and Ivanov's threat is likely to irritate Brussels and Washington, which wants to place an early warning radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptors in Poland.

As an alternative to the U.S. plan, President Vladimir Putin this week suggested sharing a radar system currently under construction in the Krasnodar region. During talks with U.S. President George W. Bush, he also proposed making the shield more regional by bringing in NATO and setting up joint early warning missile launch centers.

"If the proposal is accepted," Ivanov said, "then Russia will not have need to base new rocket forces in the European part of Russia, in Kaliningrad, in order to parry the threats that will arise from the missile defense system.

"You will forget about the term 'Cold War.' It will simply disappear. There simply won't be cause for speaking of it."

But "if our proposal is not accepted, we will take adequate measures. An asymmetrical and effective response will be found. We know that we will do this," Ivanov said.

The Polish Defense Minstry said Russia had made similar threats before Poland joined NATO in 1999.

Putin said he was not expecting an immediate reaction on his missile defense proposals. "We don't demand immediate answers to all our offers. Our goal is to formulate the offer and talk to our partner about it. ... We will be waiting for the final response," Putin said Tuesday at a news conference in Guatemala, where he was promoting Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Speaking about the Olympics, Putin said he was promoting Sochi, where he often skis, as a "unique site."

"It has a very gentle climate and a great deal of snow" in the spring, he said.

Putin is leading Russia's presentation to the International Olympic Committee, which was to choose the site of the 2014 Games early Thursday, Moscow time. Also competing were Salzburg, Austria, and Pyeongchang, South Korea.

AP, MT