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. Russian Generl Dimeatrie Smirnikoff

    Look hear Americanos.
    We have oil and pictures of old missiles. And we kicked George's donkey.
    So HAAAAA!

    November 23, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. TheRealist

    No one is scared of Russia anymore, just trying to flex whatever muscle they have left before they fall down the food chain.

    November 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CircusTrainer

    If there is war – will american astronaut and russian cosmonaut fight?

    November 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • lb309

      No, they will wait it out. But when they return to Earth, it will be run by apes.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      that is so funny – I believe we are worse than apes

      November 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. D Day

    And if thay do it its the 3 WORLD WAR ! Attaching others countrys !? its just politics

    November 23, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      politics of Iraq

      November 23, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pol Aalbarico

      What is that "shield" suppose to Russia? Why Russians are so worried about that European "shield"? They should make their own shield too. Ah Russians are worried because they don't have that "shield" technology yet, I guess

      November 23, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. CircusTrainer

    in a great space battle on space station

    November 23, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • iura

      you watched too much star wars )

      November 23, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Elder

    The real threaten for the world is the usa... As nobody can say anything to the world agressor (usa) Russia will try to stop them. So called american democracy has killed thousands of people (remember Bosnia and Afganistan) all over the world and is still doing it. Now the've decided to put these nuclear bobms in Europe and "save" the world – that's redicuous!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. zoglet

    America has behaved ignorantly and foolishly with Russia on this matter. There was no needto isolate Russia. One can only assume the intention has been to start another arms race inEurope. Seriously, isnt it time the US stopped beingsuch a war monger around the planet?

    November 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. iura

    by the way obama was awarded nobel prize for peace at the beginning of his mandate, my question is why?

    November 23, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      he fooled them as well.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    I must say, reading through this thread has made me realize one thing: Circus Trainer has a hell of a good sense of humor! I am crackimg up from CT's posts!

    November 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      thank you banasy – but I really liked the planet of the ape joke – I wonder if the apes will be communist or capatalists?

      November 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Alexandritto

    Mark, you r such a baby, we don't give f*** about Iran. Who cares about Iran? All countries in the world is a "loose change "And i have to say to all of you. If only one strategic missile will hit the ocean, most of us will die in a slow death . Mark, didn't the teach that in the US army, i think they do as do in ours.

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

      they taught us to go under our desk in school – they told us that it could save us – they better come up with better drills than that.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. auwe

    Why does us like israel were the biggest tread of ww3 seems to get started,us kicK back and let god surfive as you prenounse on the dollar,be kind. Love

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

    Alexandritto is successful troll.

    November 23, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      No, I'm a troll hunter ))) I lived in the US for a long long time, now i'm so proud to be back home and be a patriot of my great country Russia, that never invaded any nation or enslaved anybody or exterminated any nation like Anglo sax

      November 23, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bilfar

    Russia has a long history of mistrusting and overreaction. You would think that after all the terrible terrorist attacks on them that they would readily agree to an equal partnership in this noble endeavor. Instead all they can do is squabble and threaten. They are not the Chinese but remain almost just as bad.

    November 23, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      Yes we're always bad. Name me one Russian leader that was welcomed by the West ? I know one it's B.N. Yeltsin and do you know why ? Because he was helping Anglo sax to disassemble the "EVEL EMPIRE" Putin is a dictator just because he kicked out western oil companies out of Russia. Do u c where i'm going with this ?

      November 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • iura

      man I am sorry but if u think that you can fight with terrorists with missles, you gotta come with something better

      November 23, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexandritto

      There's NO TERRORIST why can't you understand it, it's another MYTH that was created to scare people. So you can be like a bunch of slaves, so is my country the "evil empire" i'm no evil, my parents r nice people, our army is 25 less then the US army, WHO IS THE EVIL ?!!!

      November 23, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      No one can live up to the great expectations that the US has for the rest of the world – You blame China and Russia for being bad – someone claims that the axis of evil is Syria, Iran, Iraq and North Korea – Libya did not fit then – Americans argue about everything and blame everyone else – Liberals, socialists, communists, capitalists and fascists. Poor people of Iraq – who lost their lives in the war of mass dementia brought on by lies and cartoon drawings at the UN – Lets stop and think – is it possible that we have an issue here in America – a country whose history is based on the biggest lie of them all – genocide against the native americans. Lets start to mend our fences and take care of our economy – not start more rhetoric to beef up security and defense spending – fearmongering in the GOP debate last night was ballistic – they were all so tough – especially Newf Gin-Grinch

      November 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dondondon

    hello idiots.. put the shoe on the other foot

    November 23, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MIke

    I've always been facinated with the USSR and now the Russian Federation. Someday, I want to travel over there and see if what I've read is true. I'm told to go in the winter because Air conditoning is not everywhere,
    I'd like to find a familly that would adopt me and my wife for a few days. Follow then to their workplace, do choires and pretend we are Russian. And after that experience, I would invite our Russion hosts to come to America for a few days and stay in our homes. After this, I'd bet our two familes would be lifelong friends. What if everyone this did? What a wonderful world it would be.Yesterdays' dreams can become today's reality.

    November 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      I will come to your home first – then we will talk about a return visit if we can get along.

      November 23, 2011 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
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