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. EdZ

    Let's hope they use the same technology they use for their Mars missions.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      make your enemy think you are weak – then suprise them with your strength

      November 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. cheif

    so please tell us why the 1% needs a missile system in europe

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

      rothchild ordered it

      November 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Lester

    The shield is to defend Europe from Iran's nuclear program. If Russia wants modifications to the shield program, they will have to drastically change their position on taking Iran to task for continuing to proceed with their nuclear program.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cassandra Chu

      actually, the shield is to defend europe from Russia and China... but it's all just defense spending propaganda...

      November 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      its the new Berlin Wall

      November 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gold Finger

    This is all because of the Iran embargo.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      goes back before the shah

      November 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. the pope

    Whoa sam,
    Without China we wouldn't have wal- mart or black Friday, red neck mayhem.
    So just take it easy guy.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Simon

    This is realpolitik. This is the result of our sanctioning of Iran.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    This thread is getting more absurd by the moment...

    November 23, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lord Vader

    Leave it to a bunch of punks to threaten people. I say the US starts rounding up all russians now and throw them in slave labor camps!

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

      nope I don't think this will work with russians last time when hitler tried to pull this off he lost big time

      November 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      Is FEMA ready? or do they have to use the SuperDome?

      November 23, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Emilio

    This is a ploy to scare our namby-pamby chicken-hawks who govern our country into frittering away our treasures on useless weapons systems, thereby bringing closer our empire's doom.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  10. George from Georgia

    Putin is starting new civil war. thats good, because civil war destroyed evil empire of USSR. Russia will be ruined soon or later.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      At least we don't have an economy that's fallen apart

      November 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      you sound like Kindasleeza rice

      November 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cassandra Chu

    for far too long, America's "foreign policy" has centered on the "squeaky-wheel" Israelis and AIPAC's demands... and we ignored the rest of the world. I saw this problem coming when I read that Clinton's daughter married a hard-core Zionist. Very bad policy, very bad perspective.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      No one else would take her – Not even Monica

      November 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Russian

    I'm from Russia missiles in Poland too close to my house. Somali pirates seize our ships often but do not place missiles near your home.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      thats because thay dont need missiles to take your stupid ships! if thay did thay would use missiles you moron!!

      November 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    First off F russia! secondly its a missile defense system not a threat to russia just a means to protect against any iran or middle east threat! if russia thinks thay can play with the big boys thay are sadly mistaken. obama needs to meet russia threat with a declaration of war!! Time to let russia know if thay plan to stick out there cest thay had better be prepared. russia just needs to shut up! But then again I guess as long as the use was a leader with no balls other countries will continue to threaten us and do as thay please just like iran is. action needs to be taken!! russia can kiss our ass...

    November 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      R u serios about that, do you think there's more anomies ??? There's no, enemies, american propaganda works for as well is for the others. IT's ALL ABOUT MONEY, WHY CAN'T YOU GET IT PEOPLE. Learn how to think use your brain a lil bit. We are Russians and Germans will always be your sworn enemy.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      If US declares war – then Russia will have war with US – Kiss your own ass – malaka – Big boys or little boys – there is no one littler than Sarkozy.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Here's another right-wing idiot above(Mark) who never got past the 5th grade in school. Gee whiz, no wonder this country's in such trouble! Such is to be expected from someone like this with his obvious limitations since they can't think very well!!!

      November 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      and that is why the missile defense system needs to be put up because you bunch of sissy's can get over the fact that the US is much stronger and brighter the you russians. You said it we are your sworn enemy. Nothing but a bunch or iran loving idiots.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      you are very hostile Mark – chill – get yourself booked for a good seat in a luxury bunker – or have all the tickets been sold already?

      November 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I may not think very well but I will never be pushed around and hide behind someone else's words like a coward that you are. I am the one that will fight and die for you while you site at home enjoy your freedom. You have your freedom only because of fighters such as me. So Mr. George Patton sit at home and suck your thumb act as if your educated because that all it is, an act...

      November 23, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      lmao, I hear ya. Just sick and tiered of the crap. Everyone has to know russia is all up in arms just because thay are in bed with iran and can do nothing to protect them.

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

      at ease soldier – the bombs will stop soon – you will be able to go shopping then

      November 23, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      wow Mark, you're an incurable case of idiocy... sorry for you

      November 24, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. eyeugize

    War is the ultimate jobs bill. Everybody stays busy especially the grave diggers.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. rdg18

    While Russia threatens the World, the liberals are demanding the US do away with it's military defense.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      For your information, rdg18, only three countries are currently threatening the world and they are the United States, Great Britain and France and nobody else. So you can quit vomiting your ignorance on this web page!

      November 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      hay idiot(George Patton) can you tell me if israel was threatened and if so by whom?

      November 23, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      dont forget Canada

      November 23, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      lol or north korea or china or egypt or... the list goes on

      November 23, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
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