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Russia to axe weapons if US dumps shield

Russia will stop developing some strategic weapons if the US drops its plans for a missile shield in Europe, the commander of Russia's strategic missile forces, Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov, reportedly said.

The remarks may be a step in Russian efforts to build ties with the incoming US administration but also reflect difficulties it faces in financing its military programmes during the economic crisis. The US shield plans, intended to avert strikes from Iran and North Korea, aided the deterioration of bilateral ties to their lowest level since the Cold War.