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

    These so called big shots need to stop playing games with each other and find peace on this small world we live in. Obama and all other presidents in this world will sit together and hide while Innocent people die and suffer they wont care about anyone but them self as its happening right now we suffer and starve because of them idiots. We know they all want to be the strongest in the world but its not taking us anywhere.

    November 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff

    The Russians are adolescents just like North Korea...hey, look here, please notice us, we want to be important and relevant again. we will make up stories and threaten you just so we can get some attention....blah, blah, blah.

    November 23, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      who is the mommy and who is the daddy? Malaka

      November 23, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    @Circus Trainer:
    They're using the old under-the-desk drill for earthquakes, now...same non-effect if either of the real things were to happen...

    November 23, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      they should just blindfold us all – pull the wool over our eyes.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy©

    Circus Trainer:
    Apes are social creatures, sooooo....socialist, of course!
    Beware of their missles...flung poo...

    November 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Boris Badenov

    Ve vill bury you, moose and squirrel!

    November 23, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Nobody

    Reminds me of russian threats about nato expansion back in 1996. Yeltsin warned of WWIII that never happened. Whimps.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      how about the russian ambassador who took off his shoe at the UN and banged it on the table – He was ready to rumble.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mmmmm

    is it just me? this guy look like he got his suit from the rocky horror picture show...let's do the time warp again! let's do the tome warp again!

    November 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nobody

    Thats gotta be a bummer...March 12, 1999 Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania (ouch), Albania and more all joining NATO, the same ones who agree to missile shield.

    Poor russia. I dunno maybe ask the IMF for some more help? Then threaten everybody! Yah thats it!

    November 23, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CircusTrainer

    he is not as refined as Putin – but Im sure he paid good rubles for it. It might be french design

    November 23, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Iamnotfooled

    Russia is not worried about the Obama administration -they are worried about the next President –be it in 2012 or 2016. Thus they said in about 6 to 8 years it could weaken their nuclear deterrent capability.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Daniel J. Lavigne

    The madness continues.

    Due America's non-stop determination to go broke while trying to control all business on the planet . . that is what's happening . . America is heading for bankruptcy . . . and will set off the exchange of nuclear weapons as America's 'Leaders' realize that their foolish / greed driven determination to control all others was and remains a sign of the madness that curses humanity's political processes . . .

    Why would anyone NOT refuse to support societies that would use such weapons against defenseless fellow human beings? Why would anuone fail to act on their DUTY to so refuse?

    Interesting questions . . . but few possess spine and integrity sufficient to honestly answer such . . Woe.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nobody

      uh...did you mean the weapons whose design was stolen by russia, who then designed even larger ones so they could be more effective against the major cities? Those weapons? Im sorry I was just trying to clarify...which weapons you were referring to.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      yes the stolen blueprints to everything American brought to the world – they stole it from the Germans, anyways.

      November 23, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CircusTrainer

    that is why Putin is coming in – to deal with Perry from Texas – once Perry learns how to count to 3 then look out – its lights out for Russia. Are there any more Bushes out there – war presidents – I noticed Wolfowitz made a public appearance yesterday – shameless character he turned out to be. Has he re-invented himself. I am sure the next election will be about taxation reforms and what the people want and expect from their congress.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      CircusTrainer, do agree with your comment, but will add one more detail: as long as it's lights out for Russia, it's lights out for the whole world... and one should be able to count to 5 at least to understand it...

      November 24, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mmmmm

    there are just some things on this earth that is not wise tah disturb: a black man's anger and white woman's tear...that sh!t will cause massive destruction...russia y'all needtah be very attentive to what's in the white house right now...

    November 23, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      be vewy vewy caweful – Elmyr Fudge

      November 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Unwashed77

    Take off your fuiiiicking weapon from our border and everything will be ok! Stuuupid yankiii!

    November 23, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kaliningrad

      P-36М Satana... From Russia with love)

      November 23, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Russia

    Your Government is not to do with money ... would be better off with their financial problems versed..

    November 23, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
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