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. bobcat (in a hat)

    I know who he reminds me of now in that suit. Mr. Deeds. And he has the same stupid look on his face too.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Uncle

    SCRIPTURAL PROPHECY on way to being fufilled. Russia will desroy the United States of Ameria with a nuclear strike.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Uncle

    SCRIPTURAL PROPHECY on way to being fufilled. Russia will destroy the United States of Ameria with a nuclear strike.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      That is ridiculous.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott715

      You you spend less time reading your bible and more time reading other things. Start with an English book maybe? I've read the bible and I didn't see Russia or America mentioned even once, but pray to your imaginary friend if you think it will help.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  4. bobcat (in a hat)

    Where exactly does it say that in the bible ?

    November 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      first page – but not the King James version

      November 23, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wind

    For those who believe Russia isn't relevant plz think again. They have more Nuclear Weapons than the U.S. Lets take a look at how America's alliances are changing the world. With Russia and China being contained the time will come where they may ally up for protection. Not as strong as having as many allies as America but having over 1/6 of the world's population and a good bit of Military strength isn't anything to laugh at.

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

      we will see what tomorrow brings – hopefully peace in the world.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      The US Navy is the most powerful force on the face of the earth with no other military even comparing in destructive potential. That includes the entire rest of the worlds combined conventional military destructive power combined.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      one man stood in front of a tank at Tianamen Square and stopped the tank – do bombs hurt?

      November 24, 2011 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      Ken have you included the greek fishing boats?

      November 24, 2011 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      CircusTrainer: I believe you are not entirely up to date on the exact types of vessels the US is currently sporting.

      November 24, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Azat

    Ok it will better if Russia also put its missiles in Cuba and Venesuella, close to USA borders. Paritet is saved.

    November 23, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nobody

      please note the issue is non-nuclear defensive missiles, and how russia wants to deploy more offensive missiles possibly nuclear ones.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      yes and sellling weapons to Taiwan – is supposed to balance things out over there – we dont buy what you are selling.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nobody

    If russia has chosen to be on the side of the west, then any missile defense system should not bother them. I suggest admitting that russia has instead chosen to cling to their sordid past.

    The west should boycott russia and china for allowing nuclear proliferation to questionable regimes. Their choice should have economic consequence.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      Boycott the olympics – empose sanctions – do what you have to do to please your whims – You expect nations to turn a blind eye to what is really going on in the world? Guess again.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Concerned

      This is really funny. Indeed, boycotting Russia and China will have economic consequences! Over 70% of US goods are made in China. Check your pens and running shoes. And actually, if this "shield "system is not targeted at Russia why not giving a legally binding confirmation of that? And it is US who can not confirm such "fact".

      November 24, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      lets get the lawyers working on it then – pronto

      November 24, 2011 at 1:37 am | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      Nobody: and has the west chosen to be on the same side with Russia? Wasn't it Russians who had suggested to be a part of this Euro-missiles-shield? What was our response? Stay aside, no help of yours is needed, we will do as we wish.
      Or in your opinion to be our ally means to obey us in every case?

      November 24, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mmmmm

    I'm sticking with russia is being manipulated with the intent on two superpowers taking each other out. then the illicit hand would be the superpower bypassing russia and us...the shield system is needed for whether russia agrees or not for muslin terrorist views russia as infidels too. the question is who is the illicit one vying for power and has the ear of russia

    November 24, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Nobody


      November 24, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      I will stick to whatever Pat Robertson says – dont forget the story of the 3 kingdoms – he says it so well.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  9. Roadsniper

    Take the capital of russia and hit tehran extremly hard!! Now problem over.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      just write yourself a cheque.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      hit hard – as hard as your head

      November 24, 2011 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      Roadsniper: just wondering, do you know the name of that 'capital of russia'?

      November 24, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mmmmm

    probally some small gnat of a country sh!t stirring everytime it opens it's mouth...can't believe how gullible intelligent people are to sh!t stirrers...loving them to tickle the ear. you knuckleheads keep thinking oil...yah better start looking at banks and those holding the win-win money bags.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      you speak with fork tongued – why dont you tickle your nose and make sure you hold onto your bags of money tightly – tend to the fields – take from the innocent and poor people and hold onto your money. Did we not already go through these banking battles before in time – you tell us when enough is enough and we will tickle each others ears. Malaka

      November 24, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. tonny2

    is now that Russia is now using sense , the target of America is to rule the world with the spirit of anti Christ . they now realize that Russia and china is watching the way they are terrorizing Arab nations . it will comes to a stage America will attack Russia . that why Russia need to be very careful about what America is doing

    November 24, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      havent we seen enough already?

      November 24, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Unwashed77

    US citizens! Are you really so stupid thinking that Russia wants back their power only? You have positioned your weapon near by Russia border! What do you want from us now? I would like to read your comments if we position our missile in Cuba once again! I guess you would be happy then?

    November 24, 2011 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. RCDC

    They are as scared as we are. Probably the world could be a better place if all countries in the world would sign an agreement not to attack or destroy each other.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      another worthless piece of paper – get the banks to sign the paper if they can unclench their fists from the bags of money.

      November 24, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. AnJy

    Dear friends,
    Do you really want the Cold war Part II? I believe neither part does. Read these words again' "NATO has offered to have Russia participate in the shield, but Russia has said it is not satisfied with negotiations. " THAT'S LIE!!! Russia asked for participating in this program but WAS REJECTED – THAT'S THE CORNERSTONE. If you guys have peaceful intentions towards Russia then ACCEPT IT INTO THE PROGRAM as an EQUAL partner. That's all. Easy. Unfortunately western people are more brainwashed nowadays than ever! Take your time and analyse the situation from all points of view and you will find the answer.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      lets play world leader pretend

      November 24, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Peter

    The article does not explain that the Iskander missiles that would be deployed are tactical (max range 400 km for Iskander-M). Also they are not nuclear capable. These missiles are already deployed across Russia except for Kaliningrad.This was done in exchange for the US not deploying its missile defence systems in Poland. Sounds like Nato is reneging on that agreement which is why Medvedev is now talking about deploying the Iskanders to Kalininigrad.

    November 24, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
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