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. Jean

    EASY easy please

    We love our children, in the US, in RUSSIA, in IRAN or In ISRAEL...


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

    Typing in all caps doesn't make a message more powerful, it only makes it annoying to read. Get a clue, Jayson.

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

    Alexandritto, we feel sorry for you, too...I really hope that you don't run out of tin foil for your cute little cap anytime soon.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    NOT JIF AT 7:44.
    I can't catch them all.
    Thanks for the help, bobcat (in a hat).

    November 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Smirnoff sucks

    Enough of these pansies in Russia, let them feel our thunder with our advanced weaponry and blow them back a few years into oblivion. We're not paying our Debt..... and whos gonna do anything about it? NOBODY.... bunch of goofs in Russia..... You know what they say about p

    November 23, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • ajgorm

      Here's another idiot above trying to be funny although he probably never got past the 5th grade in school nor ever heard of Russia until the government told him about it! These ignoramuses really ruffle my feathers!

      November 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ajgorm

    The problem here is that we have a President in Washington who has been bought and paid for by the Military-Industrial-Complex along with most members of Congress. Thus the new arms race between Russia and the West!!! We need to replace these worthless people in Washington but unfortunately, they have too much money at their disposal and most of them will be reelected next year!

    November 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. brown

    They are going to get us all killed one day!

    November 23, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bobcat (in a hat)

    Any time my friend.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Smirnoff sucks

    Let Russia try and start a war, let them hear the Thunder of our advanced Weaponry. We're not gonna pay our debt... and whos gonna say something about it? NOBODY. We rule you peasants..... LMAO!! SUCKAS lend us more or we'll take everything from the whole world?

    November 23, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Johndro

      I'm with you, YABBA-DABBA-DABBA-DOO!!! Let's go to war and show'em what our clowns in uniform can do. We sure know how to kill people like pigs in a pen, don't we? Like you, I'm an idiotic Tea Partying warmonger who just relishes bloodshed!

      November 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Is your real name George Bush?

      November 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • kc and jo jo

      Who says we even have problems paying our debt? Tariff China and it will be paid off in no time at all.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      God save the queeen – she aint no human being

      November 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Alexandritto

    You're nothing but Poodles colony, did you know that ? A colony that was never met to be independent . And s**t will hit the fan Poodle will say, "it's all American fault"

    November 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catch22ofNJ

      Alexandritto... lay off the Vodka, comrade.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      We don't do vodka as much as you do, we don't have psychotic idiots running in to our schools shooting innocent students. I go outside and actually get to know the most beautiful and exiting girls in the world that you get only to see on a computer and pay for 🙂

      November 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chris roberts

    ofcourse the bombs used if needed will only have a range of only 1 mile

    November 23, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. IVAN

    А что если Россия разместит свое ПРО на Кубе, в Венесуэле или вообще в Мексике!??

    November 23, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Merci beaucoup, Ivan. Je vous comprends tres bien et je suis completement d'accord avec vous. Mais je ne peux pas vous repondre en russe, car mon clavier n'a pas des lettres cyrilliques! J'en suis desole.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dreamer96

    Don't like the idea that the cold war was over and now we might be heading backwards....Russia has a very long history of not trusting the west...
    after all they have been invaded by a list of 12 countries provided by Vladimir T
    1. Khazarians
    2. Pechenegians.
    3. Polovchians and Hungarians. (all four from the IX to the XI c.)
    4. Mongols ( Tatars)
    5 Swedes
    6. German crusaders.
    7. The Crimean tatars
    8. Poles.
    9. Swedes in the XVIII c.
    10. Napoleon
    11. Germans during WWI
    12. Germans during WWII
    They mostly were not just single but serial invasions. For the Crimean Tatars it was like annual business to go and rob Russia in the beginning of summer and the Zars kept special army along the Oka river to prevent them from invading.
    also the muslims and rome Constantine and Persia but that was before it was called russia and Iraq was called Babylon

    November 23, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dreamer96

      Oh I forgot the British invasion of the 1960's...Rock music...the Beatles where a big hit in the U.S.S.R......

      November 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      Oh come ON, where did you get that ? There was no Mongolians, WE ARE were Mongolians. German "crusaders" LOL.
      If you r seriously in to history (and looks like you're the only one here that got i lil bit of history right) Check out London History Museum, there's a letter from Ioan The Terrible, calling English Queen a HO !

      November 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      Invasion !!! LOL One of our local comedians once said, "Hey guys, your welcome to invade Russia, we don't care, it's just you'll be running back soon when our the winter comes )))

      November 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. tonyS

    Gotta love when a country signs an arms treaty, then threatens to pull out of it. These treaties are obviously worthless and should all be dismissed.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sam

    What a monkey this guy is! What is he afraid of? Unless he has some plan to start world war 3 , nobody is concerned with war! North korea and the musloids are the only threat left on the planet. Even china is no threat but to our dogs, the environment, and children. Wake up Russia these missiles are to guard against the musloids not you!!

    November 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • IVAN

      А что если Россия разместит свое ПРО у ваших границ???

      November 23, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • sphere82

      Perhaps they do not trust the US much, and I am not too surprised. After all, what would the Americans say if Russian anti.missile system would be stationed next to the US border.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      How true that rings, Sam. Like Ivan said above in Russian, how would we like lke it they put forces on our boaders? I agree with Ivan. This arms race is totally senseless except for the right-wing thugs in Washington and London. In fact Obama shoud be tried for the war criminal that he is!!!

      November 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
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