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. Jason

    Using missiles to attack the things designed to counter missiles? Brilliant!

    November 23, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ajgorm

    Paranoia ! i wont anoy ya...oww whhooo take it seriously .The shadow knows..

    November 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jeff

    F russia they have nothing but rusted out junk.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vacily

      you are idiot. You can write me and i'll explane you smth (

      November 23, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fedupwithla

    Business as usual. Can't these people think of anything better to do with their lives?

    November 23, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. herman

    Where my limo and that sk ank who need a job?
    And how you say yummy in chocheese.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. George Patton

    I, for one, love Barack Obama!!! He goes right after the targets, abd takes them out!!! He doesn't mess around!!! I wish more people were like him!!! Russia would be a distant memory!!! Watch as I steal another name!!! I'm stealing ajgorm's next!!! I'm repulsive!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ajgorm

      That is good patton maybe the chickens dressed in black want more of it , Does CNN know your a PIRATE ?

      November 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ralph

    Think about it for a second, The Russians will waste all of their missiles trying to knock out a missile defense. That will leave them with exactly 0 missiles to target anything else; it is easier to hit a missile when you know what it is aiming for. After all we can spend them into the dirt like in the 80’s.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      ralph, never heard of ICBMs and tactical missiles? too bad for you

      November 24, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Fonseka

    F NATO, bunch of losers in debt.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Alexandritto

    I feel so sorry for you guys, you never use your brain and always trust your TV's, someday your government will wire your head to the socket. Right propaganda in the US worst than we had during Stalin regime. Of course we are enemies, Of course Russia is heavily armed mother.....r.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catch22ofNJ

      ... and, of course, Russia will always be a third world toilet of a country. Who feels sorry for whom?

      November 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      Have you've been to Russia ? I'm pretty sure you haven't been anywhere in the world accept your butt a** Nebraska

      November 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fonseka

    US debt, $50 trillion LOL

    November 23, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. TeeJay

    1) Ronald Reagan was a democrat before he turned his back on his party to run as a GOP candidate for Cali.
    2) How nice that Russia wants be relevant to today's world. Too bad they're headed up by a bunch of knobs.

    November 23, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kerplunk777

    Your stupidy is showing

    November 23, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Necrofun

    They're drinking again.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alexandritto

    And not because we're so different from one another, it's about money. USA protecting their Dollar around the globe with it's army. What, you didn't know that ? You didn't know that your tax dollar goes to protect A dollar ? What, you thought that you're just a friendly nation that spreading democracy ! Oh no, no, no, USA army makes sure everybody else buys US worthless paper with their products and natural resources.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rob

    Russia is a bully plain and simple. But America will not be pushed around. Striking against us will be nothing less than an act of War. I don't think Russia wants a war all our troops are right there at Russia's front and back door. An we would have plenty of time to pick them apart.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
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