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'No Russian influence over new missile defence plan'

world Updated: Sep 18, 2009 12:37 IST

PTI
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The replacement of Bush regime missile defence plan for Eastern Europe, which was opposed by Moscow, with a new one to counter the threat of possible missile attacks from Iran has no Russian influence but aims at ensuring security of US allies, White House has said.

"Absolutely -- no, this is not about Russia," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters after President Barack Obama announced the defence plan.

Gibbes replied in negative to a question if Russian view on the Bush-era plan was a factor behind the new system.

It is hoped that the launch of the new plan will help improve US' strained ties with Russia.

Meanwhile, the White House asserted that the new missile defence is better than that of George W Bush administration.

"This is an improved ballistic missile defence system, based on better technology, based on the latest intelligence assessments about threats posed, particularly by Iran," Gibbs said.

The Bush administration had planned to extend the massive and costly defence shield into Europe to counter a perceived missile threat from Iran. The move had deeply angered Russia, which saw it as a threat to its own security.

"This is about protecting our homeland. It's about protecting the troops that we have deployed overseas that protect our freedom. And it was about ensuring the defence of our allies, our European and NATO allies," Gibbs said, defending the decision taken by Obama.