( RIA Novosti ) - U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Central Europe may undermine Russia's security cooperation with the European Union and NATO, Russia's defense minister said Wednesday.
"Not only will the deployment of missile defense components in Europe upset the strategic military parity, but it will also put at risk the mechanism of security interaction between Russia and appropriate EU and NATO bodies shaped over the past 15 years in the new geopolitical environment," Anatoly Serdyukov said.
The United States seeks to deploy 10 interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, allegedly to protect itself and its European allies against a potential strike from Iran or some other "rogue state."
Russia is staunchly opposed to the shield, and has dismissed arguments that it would make Europe a safer place.
Serdyukov Wednesday accused the U.S. of attempts to establish global hegemony, saying its unilateral actions "bring back memories of the Cold War, whose legacy we have begun to get rid of by building a new multi-polar world order."
He said the issue of deploying a missile shield in Europe should be decided collectively by all countries maintaining the strategic balance of forces on the European continent.
The minister spoke to a gathering of his counterparts from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian regional security alliance founded in 2001 by Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China.
The forum is taking place in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.