Russia: Address concerns or we'll target missile shield
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks about NATO's planned missile shield from his residence in Gorki on Wednesday.
November 23rd, 2011
03:10 PM ET

Russia: Address concerns or we'll target missile shield

Russia may deploy missiles that it says could destroy NATO’s planned missile defense system in Europe - and withdraw from an arms control treaty with the United States - if Russia’s concerns about the shield aren’t addressed, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.

Medvedev also announced that Russia will take a series of immediate steps that includes equipping new ballistic missiles “with advanced missile defense penetration systems” and drawing up plans to disable missile shield guidance systems.

“If (those immediate steps) prove insufficient, the Russian Federation will deploy modern offensive weapon systems in the west and south of the country, ensuring our ability to take out any part of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe,” Medvedev said in a live address on Russian television. “One step in this process will be to deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad region.”

Russia also could pull out of the New START arms control agreement with the United States that Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama signed a year and a half ago.

“Conditions for our withdrawal from the New START Treaty could also arise, and this option is enshrined in the treaty,” Medvedev said.

Although NATO has said that the shield will protect Europe from attacks from areas such as the Middle East and not from Russia, the Russian government is concerned that the shield is meant to undermine its nuclear deterrent.

NATO has offered to have Russia participate in the shield, but Russia has said it is not satisfied with negotiations. Russia wants legally binding guarantees that the system won’t be used against it. The Obama administration has made clear that the president will not sign such a document.

“Our requests that they set this out on paper in the form of clear legal obligations are firmly rejected,” Medvedev said. “We will not agree to take part in a program that in a short while, in some six to eight years’ time, could weaken our nuclear deterrent capability.”

The United States and NATO are planning a missile defense shield using land- and sea-based SM-3 interceptors in places such as in Poland and Romania. Turkey would be one of the countries hosting radar systems for the project.

Last month, Ellen Tauscher, the U.S. State Department undersecretary for arms control and international security, told the Atlantic Council Missile Defense Conference in Washington that NATO hopes to declare an initial missile defense capability at its summit in Chicago in May. The last phase, in which the shield would cover all European NATO allies, has a 2018 target date, she said.

Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, said Wednesday that the United States “has been open and transparent with Russia on our plans for missile defense in Europe, which reflect a growing threat to our allies from Iran that we are committed to deterring.”

“In multiple channels, we have explained to Russian officials that the missile defense systems planned for deployment in Europe do not and cannot threaten Russia’s strategic deterrent," Vietor said. "Implementation of the New START Treaty is going well, and we see no basis for threats to withdraw from it.

“We continue to believe that cooperation with Russia on missile defense can enhance the security of the United States, our allies in Europe and Russia, and we will continue to work with Russia to define the parameters of possible cooperation. However, in pursuing this cooperation, we will not in any way limit or change our deployment plans in Europe.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Wednesday that the “suggestion that deployment of missiles in the areas neighboring the alliance is an appropriate response to NATO’s system is very disappointing.”

“Such deployments would be reminiscent of the past and are inconsistent with the strategic relations NATO and Russia have agreed they seek and with the spirit of the dialogue, including on missile defense issues, that they are currently conducting,” he said in a statement released by NATO.

Still, Rasmussen welcomed Medvedev's “willingness not to close the door on continued dialogue with NATO and the U.S. on missile defense and to consider practical cooperation in this area.”

Tauscher said last month that as a partner in the system, Russia would “continue to be able to confirm that the system is directed against launches originating outside Europe and not from Russia.” She also said that the system will have “no capability to counter Russian strategic forces, given their location, numbers and advanced technology.”

She said the United States is willing to give Russia a guarantee in writing but not make it a legal matter. “We cannot provide legally binding commitments, nor can we agree to limitations on missile defenses, which must necessarily keep pace with the evolution of the threat. But through cooperation we can demonstrate the inherent characteristics of the system and its inability to undermine Russian deterrent forces or strategic ability,” she said last month.

Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia is “ready to discuss additional modifications to the system, taking into account our NATO partners’ views” and will “continue the dialogue with the USA and NATO on this issue.”

“There is still time to reach an understanding,” Medvedev said. “Russia has the political will to reach the agreements needed in this area, agreements that would open a new chapter in our relations with the USA and NATO."

Post by: ,
Filed under: Military • NATO • Russia
soundoff (723 Responses)
  1. Roy

    Sop I thought Russia was our friends not so they still hav a hard devil heart that never will go away for the USA. Its time to forget about Russia and do not do any bussiness with them . Russia is Number 1 Real enemy of the Usa. You can look itm up in the Bible. Hello.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snoot

      "Look it up in the bible"? Really? You're quite the moron.

      November 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Anon

    You all people make more or less sense, but you all don't understand – it's ellection on Dec 4th... For new president So whatever the promise is to the people is not what is going to happen per say, it's just another game to gain the votes!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chris

    A absolute mistake on russia's part

    November 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    All these right-wing nutjobs posting their anti-Russian nonsense here are shining examples of just how they themselves can be brainwashed by the U.S. Government! How many even know anything about Russia itself? Very few do!!! The only thing that scares me is the stupidity of our own people and that seems to be endemic if one reads this web page!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • BetterDeadThanFed

      Yeah, if the government and we right-wing idiots want to get exhaustive information about Russia and their national offense/defense, you're the go-to person, huh? Now who's the idiot?

      Typical left-wing bigotry.

      November 23, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • too bad

      Americans donot even realize how they are being brainwashed. too bad for them

      November 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)

      Fake JIF, you said a mouthful. Total ignorance, but still a mouthful.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. JoeSeattle

    Dear Russia –

    If you didn't want nations to develop missile shields you shouldn't have proliferated nukes to China and North Korea. What're we supposed to do – leave our cities unprotected so that you don't have to deal with missile envy?

    November 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • MontanaSon

      Good point.

      November 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Dear USA!
      If you had not created Osama Bin Laden in the 1980-s against USSR. And some person named James Bush had a partnership with him ( google it please) . It is 100% American product and quality!!!
      Look at your own actions! Russia sell weapons to Iran ...You sell weapons to Saudi ....look at lifestyle of these 2 country's. What do you know about Saudi Arabia?? How violent they are? How women live there?Can they drive? can they go outside? Why dont you just go there and make THE GREAT AMERICAN DEMOCRACY? With all Oil stealing! Factory's bombing( so later on they will ask you to build the new ones! ). Seems that your knowladge of history and facts like your economy and education system when teenagers dont know where is USA on the map situated. sham on you.

      November 24, 2011 at 5:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brian Proskin

    It's time to bring Russia into NATO. Russia is a new democracy and with CHINA growing stronger every year we need RUSSIA!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • too bad

      not a chance
      why would russia or us want it

      November 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cush777

    When are we going to learn that we are not our brother's keeper????? If Europe wants a missle shield let them pay for it!!! Sure we will build it for them, for a price and we will even help them man it, but lets do it on their dime and not ours. This is all a big politcal game. We are poking Russia in the eye and then we wonder why they get defensive. They get defensive about a few intercepter missles when they have thousands of weapons....a shield deters nothing. this is all a political game to take our attention away from the problems we have here in the states. So the real issue here is why are we spending money to protect someone else

    November 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan Bednarik

    Patton had the right idea.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • bw

      agree 1000% percent!! since no time machine, brian is correct in my opinion, to bring russia into NATO.

      November 23, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)

      Yes he did. And got fired for it.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. voiceTRUTH

    The shield isn't stupid at all. Its better that we move towards defensive postures rather than simply offensive, rendering nuclear war less likely. We should reduce nuclear weapons altogether, because they are by far the larger threat to world stability. After all, who is more dangerous, the man with the bullet proof vest, or the man with the gun and bullet? The best offense is a good defense.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      voiceTRUTH, that's not analogy good enough. The correct question is who is more dangerous, the man with the bullet proof vest and with the gun and bullet, or the man with the gun and bullet?

      November 24, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Erik

    Study a map and learn history or watch the military channel. No one wins. I can have a missile coming out of my ass. People there are just as nice and kind as the folks here in America. This story sucks because I promise you Russia has plenty of submarines that could destroy every major city in my country within about 30 minutes. Get a passport and see for yourself. Oh by the way the Russian Federation is 4 times the size of the US and its time to play nice.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. citizen

    Cris, Roy, Jim briskie, ruffnut, Philip, phillip, the truck driver chick from Illinois. Um, and many more.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Fred

    Watch. Whatever Obama says about this will just make things worse.....that's what he's good at.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. BENJI

    Russia needs to read Ezekiel chapter 38 & 39 to read about their fate.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Michael

    Look people, all we have to do is cut off the vodka supply to the Russian military and they'll become useless....

    November 23, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. joe arapahoe

    The Russians are mad only because Sahara Palins fox contract is being canceled. She knows where Russia is and they liked her for it.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26