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."

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Filed under: Military • NATO • Russia
soundoff (723 Responses)
  1. JB

    You know what? I'm so tired of those throwback Pinkos – let's accidentally level Moscow to ashes.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • LuisWu

      How about we level your house instead.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • ash

      You sound like an Idiot...stop posting BS

      November 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed Sr

      GROW UP little kid! If you don't know about solidarity and world cooperation you need to go back to grade school you moronic dropout!!

      November 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shandril

      Are you serious or just a third-rate troll? If you are serious, you must be suicidal. Russia can and would reduce our cities to ashes, too, if we take any kind of military action against their nation. Don't think that they can do it, huh? If that is the case, you are a blathering fool, like most Americans seem to be nowadays.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Yes! Let's start a nuclear war with Russia. Excellent idea.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      now that's a smart statement ... I bet you vote GOP

      November 23, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomCom

      we do better fightings wars with countries thast can only afford toyota trucks with machine guns duct taped to the bed.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      agree 100%- the world is a better place with America in total charge!

      November 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • DK

      "world cooperation"? when do the russians cooperate with anyone other than iran? full speed ahead ... neutralize their nuclear deterrent and marginalize them.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ed Sr

    Frankly, I don't blame Russia! They are also concerned about NATO and the UN and the United States and the attempt by these three to form a NEW WORLD POWER which I am totally against myself! Russia is RIGHT and NATO is WRONG!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Thank you, Ed Sr. I couldn't agree more. The right-wing thugs in Washington, London and Paris have gone way overboard in trying to scare us. The very idea of this so-called "defense shield" is one of complete stupidity!

      November 23, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • LuisWu

      I agree. Russia is a democratic capitalist nation now. We should cooperate with them, not antagonize them.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve

      You commie jerks are clueless and are a disgrace.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • patriotsrus

      What world do you morons live in? Russia is backsliding and their government is corrupt (worse than ours). Have you ever spoke to a Russian? I would doubt it. And yes, all the worlds problems are because of right wing loonies, idiots. Thank you for being part of the problem and not the solution. Just like liberals to point the finger yet not offer any meaningful solutions that won't bankrupt our country.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Tom Atkins

    Damn commies!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Damn ignoramuses!!! They keep coming out of the woodwork like roaches!!!

      November 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Nick

    They're bluffing about having the technology to thwart the defense system. But I fully expect Russia to attack SOMEone in the next decade. They are quickly running out of treasure, and that can only go on so long.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomCom

      they probably own most of teh oil in the world. It's difficult to extract though.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ajgorm

    Ka BOOM !

    November 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ajgorm

    It has already been proven we can survive a nuclear war the atmosphere would absorb the radiation we could detonate a few thousand bombs and still survive.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat)

      Exactly how has this been proven ? I don't remember anyone setting off a few thousand nuclear weapons to test the theory.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. everettreb

    Have any of thought "what if Russia wanted to build a missile shield in Cuba"?
    How would you feel about that?

    November 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mikhail Kosokov (R-Ohio) "Happy Thanksgiving"

    Turkey and Vodka

    November 23, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. George Patton

    I just wish that all these right-wing idiots here would just stop vomiting out their anti-Russian ignorance and just shut up! Enough is enough!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. al

    Russia's got no money – everything get stolen by corrupted crooks, and the military is one of the most corrupted.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AntiPsychos

    And the Doomsday Clock begins ticking again. Now how many minutes to midnight?

    November 23, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    They had better not drop any scuds here, or I'll sig my peek-a-poo on him, and nip his ass.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ajgorm

    See the fact of the matter is they are all MAD they want free trade and plans to blow us up at the same time while we search for utopia. Read up on that piece of paper they call a piece of paper and find the words equal rights.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Paul

    here is how you do it ... you use the brain and get an agreement, which the Obama administration did and will do it again, cause this administration has plenty of brain ... now of course, if was for the GOP tea beggars coalition, we'd be bombing the world to oblivion cause that would be smart thing to in their views.
    Luckily enough ... the GOP and the tea beggars have no real power, nor will they ever ... so, we are safe. Say Thank you God for screwing the GOP and the tea beggars.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • just me

      You do realize it was a Republican who ended the cold war? Some guy named Ronald Reagan.. He ay not have done everything right, but he did handle the negotiations that ended the cold war and could even be said to have caused the dissolution of teh Soviet Union.

      November 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    Putin's puppet speaks

    November 23, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
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