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UKRAINIAN PREMIER REPROVES WASHINGTON OVER MISSILE-SHIELD PLANS. Viktor Yanukovych said in an interview with the German business daily "Handelsblatt" on February 27 that the United States should have consulted Ukraine and Russia over its plans to establish a missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. The interview appeared on the eve of Yanukovych's official visit to Berlin. "The deployment issue should have been discussed with everyone in advance, including Russia and Ukraine. Only after there has been a comprehensive European discussion, a dialogue between East and West Europe, should a decision be taken. Europe should not be divided again like it was before the Iraq war," the German daily quoted Yanukovych as saying. Yanukovych also said that the involvement of Poland in the U.S. missile-defense plan "did not help bilateral relations." In what appeared to be an indirect reference to Yanukovych's interview, President Viktor Yushchenko said the same day that individual countries have the sovereign right to make decisions on the deployment of the U.S. missile-defense system, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reported. "Therefore, the Ukrainian authorities should not make comments on this issue in an easy-going way," Yushchenko added. JM