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Russian President Vladimir Putin has ratcheted up rhetoric against U.S. plans to deploy a missile shield in Europe. He recently paralleled Washington’s plans with the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, considered to be the closest the world ever came to nuclear war. Although he quickly dismissed the chances of a nuclear war, the inflammatory comments do not help. Fear mongering is no way to deal with this situation.

Russia has long been troubled by U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Europe. Washington wants to deploy early warning radars in the Czech Republic and missiles in Poland to defend against missile attacks from states like Iran. Moscow dismisses that threat as far off; it sees the deployments as the first step in the construction of a shield that would neutralize Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

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