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Russia slams U.S., threatens missile deployment

  • Story Highlights
  • Medvedev was making his first state of the nation speech
  • He said Iskander missiles will be deployed to Russia's Kaliningrad region
  • Medvedev also proposed increasing Russian presidential term to six years
  • Said he hoped new U.S. administration will take steps to improve relations
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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- Just hours after U.S. President-elect Barack Obama delivered his victory speech, Russia's leader delivered a scathing rebuke of U.S. policy and reminded Obama of some of the major foreign policy challenges he will face in office.

In his first state-of-the-nation speech since taking office earlier this year, President Dmitry Medvedev warned that Russian missiles will be deployed against the planned U.S. missile shield in eastern Europe.

"The Iskander missile system will be deployed in Kaliningrad region to neutralize, when necessary, the missile shield," Medvedev said. "We are also planning to use the resources of the Russian naval fleet for these purposes."

Moscow has long been infuriated by a U.S. plan for the defensive missile installation, which includes basing missile interceptors in Poland. Russian officials previously warned that such a move would open Poland up to an attack in the event of conflict.

Under the U.S. plan, the interceptor rockets in Poland would be linked to an air-defense radar system in the Czech Republic. Video Watch more about the Kremlin attack on U.S. policy »

Russia fears the missile shield would blunt its nuclear deterrent.

At the Pentagon, spokesman Bryan Whitman reiterated Wednesday that the missiles are not aimed at Russia and are designed as a defensive shield for U.S. allies in Europe. He said the shield is designed with the possibility of Iranian ballistic missiles in mind.

Medvedev had more harsh words for America, criticizing its support for Georgia's "barbaric aggression" in the recent conflict in South Ossetia. He also blamed the United States for the global financial crisis.

"The most powerful, the economy of the United States ... took down a tailspin of the financial markets of the whole planet," Medvedev said. "This crisis, this has also acquired a global nature. Certain features of local problems becoming common problems, this is typical of the modern world today."

Though Medvedev's speech showed Russia is not softening its foreign policy, he followed the remarks with a congratulatory telegram to Obama in which he called for continued cooperation on a number of issues. Medvedev also said he hopes for a constructive dialogue with the next U.S. president.


Medvedev said in his speech that Russia has no problems with the American people.

"We have no inborn anti-Americanism," Medvedev said. "We hope that our partners, the new administration in the United States of America, shall choose to respect full-fledged relationships with Russia."

-- CNN's Matthew Chance and Mike Sefanov contributed to this report.

All About RussiaDmitry MedvedevBarack Obama

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