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. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe"

    Dobre utra. Doc poseh wyshe.

    November 23, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • shahin2102

      Dobre betser, kak ti sjiviosh?

      November 23, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • fellinivita

      Rodinamat, da!!!

      November 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Learn Russian better. You'll need it...

      November 24, 2011 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    @ Banasy, yea we do although he really needs to suck it up better and get *romper room* working! And the Russians are mainly mad cuz they dont have shield capabilities lst!

    November 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ bobcat:
    I truly believe that when Kruschev said, "we will bury you," he meant with the "progress" of the theories of communism among the lower classes, not with weapons.
    Look around us.

    November 23, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • kerplunk777

      Joey, that was said as Russia was making 5 nuclear bombs a day back in those days.

      November 23, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      Joey, you're absolutely right. And Russians had been hurrying up with building more missiles to catch up with US back then. They got a parity in nuclear weapons with US only in early 70s.

      November 24, 2011 at 4:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. Boris Badinoff (Ohio-JF) "Left Handed"

    Ur a pee in.

    November 23, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Boris Badinoff (Ohio-JF) "Left Handed"

    I trust Ruskie, no farter than I trow tin pawn rock.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)

    @JIF
    You are absolutely right with your post. All we have to do today is look at the disparity amongst the classes, and you can see the fullfillment of his statement. Our country is becoming less government controlled and more corporate controlled all the time.
    Pretty soon we will see the collapse of our government and the true rise of the corporate domain, to include military and police.
    Wow, I sound like I'm plagariziing from 1984.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      You are serious? More corporate controlled then government controlled? Jesus take a closer look. Get off the OWC band wagon and look at what control our government has put in play over the last 30 years. Who runs the major banks, the government not the bank. But if you are going to classify the banking power as 'corporate' controlled, you are missing where the real problem is.

      November 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      Yes, Mike, Corporate controlled motivated by corporate GREED. We're fast becoming an oligarchy whose
      "governance" is dictated by CORPORATE interests!!!

      November 24, 2011 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    The USA was best when we were the strongest.
    Some people make themselves land-poor.
    Others make themselves car-poor.
    We in the USA decided, in spite of our other problems, to make ourselves people-poor.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • driranek

      Singapore and Korea are busy proving that educations is what makes a country strong. For a long time it worked here, but now in my state the republicans are busy gutting public education... so soon we'll be second-tier.

      November 23, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      Singapore will fold in a flash if militarily threatened (they're smart but weak). And S Korea is what it is today
      because of U.S./UN protection from their enemies (China and Russia). S Korea may be "people strong" but
      they're militarily doomed (without U.S./UN might) if threatened...

      November 24, 2011 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    @ long arm of the law, kinda gotta agree with you some on that. And we are going to be pulling our troops out of certain middle east countries leaving various military supplies such as tanks and such! So yea to an extent we do.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John Peters

    Too many weapons in the world already why do America feel they need to protect them selves from attackers. Its just ludicrous. http://www.ravedance.net

    November 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      Because so many nuclear armed "un-friendlies" are out there!!!

      November 24, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  10. BOMBO

    I had heard that Kruschev had a real fascination with tractors. Maybe he was planning to bury us all with tractors.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ John Peters:
    Of course.
    It's "defensive" for a nation to defend itself.
    No nation would ever attack another nation, and it is paranoid to think that such a thing could happen.
    Worse, it's "defensive."
    I see that you are a good, right-thinking person.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BUSTER

    bomb em into the stone age!

    November 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alexx

    This russians just like the chinesse like to get the seat that says "If you choose this position than you can ask and do whatever you want regardless of WHAT YOU ARE DOING" . Iran is a problem today because of russia, North korea is what is today because of russia and now they come and tell to your face "I DONT CARE HOW MANY NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY OR ARMS WE HAVE SOLD TO UNSTABLE COUNTRIES, YOU ADDRESS OUR CONCERNS OR WE WILL BOMB YOU". You know what russians?????? BRING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BRINGG ITTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LIVE FREE OR DIE, VICTORY OR DEATH. How is possible that these people want to have europes security as a barganing chip.!!!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Concerned

      The main problem of US out of many is that you guys never experienced ANY actual WAR at your own territory. All the wars you fought were out of the continental US but in Europe, Asia or Middle East. You have no idea how it feels to see bombs and guided "smart" payloads falling at your house just because some @sshole from another continent decided to "save" you from the misery of "undemocratic" government.
      Just try to mind your own business around North America. Do not try to save the world. It is much more peaceful without US involvement. Check the history of latest conflicts in the world. You will see US in EVERY military affair and you still blame Russia for everything. Just open your eyes.

      November 24, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      @Alexx: You're so brainwashed... Bravery and stupidity is a dangerous combination...

      November 24, 2011 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. gung hoe

    Hi jiffer man the reason why I enjoy reading your post,Is that we feel the same about most everything!

    November 23, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BobZemko

    The Russian president said this while standing in a bread line.

    November 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ash

      You can say what you will bit@@ the truth is Russia is still a SUPER POWER

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

      Your stupid Barak Osama is in the line for wellfare check!

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

      @BobZemko: That's a huge underestimation. Russia is well and sound now. And Russians are wealthy and proliferating. Never underestimate your future enemy...

      November 24, 2011 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
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