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. el americano

    Can we just get along?!!! It'd be stupid if any side were to launch a nuclear strike. We'd all die. We all depend on each other nowadays. It'd be suicide. This is just politics. Instilling fear in people for political purposes. The common US or russian citizen is minding his own business;it's the governments that incite hatred into people's heads. It's a government job to brainwash people thru their media outlets. Just like in china, n. Korea and other repressive governments. Same thing happens in 'democratic' countries. They make it seem like we have freedom but it's not true. Just try to say something about any government that is not 'correct' and see what happens to you.

    November 24, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Dimchik

      A 100% agree with you!!!! It's hard to meet people who speak sanely when it concerns Russia. Thank you!

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

      its just business – dont take it personally

      November 24, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      in business we dont things personally?

      November 24, 2011 at 1:42 am | Report abuse |
    • COF

      Agreed. If the US truly wants to be allies with Russia, they should start acting like it. Russia wants a legal binding contract on the missile systems; yet the US refuses. I'd do the same if I were in Russia's shoes. The US did the same during the Cuban missile crisis. Can human's not learn from the past?

      November 24, 2011 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. AnJy

    Absolutely agree! We should stay reasonable and not trust everything that is said to us by the governments. People don't want wars, we want to live and be happy. We don't want play political games.

    November 24, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Dimchik

      +100%, amigo! Bravo!

      November 24, 2011 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. CircusTrainer

    Yes every person from their own nation – supports their nation – patriots – but when you see congress run amok like thieves pleasing their masters – we need to correct some of these methods – Just press the reset button and America's debt will disappear – sure why not. Personally, I would not put China in the same league as North Korea – maybe somethings are better not said – but I believe there are many who have grown tired of being taken advantage of by the evilness within the world today – more fears of what might happen to you – for what Humanity or for Human Rights?

    November 24, 2011 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. RCDC

    Ok place missile shiled dummies inside Russia. How will that work?

    November 24, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      it will work without regulations – when the missile cometh – it will catch the missile in mid-air with a large baseball glove and throw the missile into Russian territory and keep Eurozone safe so that Europe and the IMF can continue with what Hitler tried to do militarily back when – how is that for a scenario?

      November 24, 2011 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Shiva

      USA now is default country and their ally must be very carefull, be coz Russia is not going play this games anymore, if something get wrong we will not doubt to protect myself and roll out the whole Europe. USA just put under european countries.

      November 24, 2011 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kme

    I do not believe that there is, or will be for a long time, any missile defense system that will protect against a multiple war head vehicular attack. These types of vehicles can scatter warheads before they can be destroyed completely and many of the warheads will be successful.

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

      Exactly. So what's the use. Missile shield installed in each battle ships and boats would be more reliable and non provocative. Like anti missile missile launchers anti ship missiles on each boats and ships.

      November 24, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • CircusTrainer

      let see how tomorrow turns out – you never know – maybe Palestine and Israel will solve their greivances and sign for a 2 state solution – followed by an Iranian and Isreali peace treaty – a Middle East Peace treaty signed by all nations – the opposition in Syria will form a coalition government with Assad and Egypt will vote in Al Baradei as their newly elected leader – the Saudis will allow women not only to drive – but to drive drunk and then vote – with Lebanon and Hammas changing their views on life and Pakistan and Afghanistan all resolved – the whole world in Peace with no evil intent.

      Lets hope this all happens tomorrow.

      November 24, 2011 at 1:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. RCDC

    Russia taught the missile shield are intended for offensive against them. They are worried as we do. They wanted a written agreement .

    November 24, 2011 at 1:58 am | Report abuse |
    • AnJy


      November 24, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. rock_on_Jesus

    According to biblical scripture which is 100% accurate in its predictions about the Jewish nation all those peace deals mentioned by CircusTrainer will happen.
    1) 70AD – the Jews will be scatterd across the world and be persecuted where ever they go.
    2) 1948AD – The Jews will be gathered back to the same land near the end of days.
    3) All their neighbours will rise against them and be cut to pieces and Israel will be a burdemsone stone to the world.
    4) The anti-christ brokers a number of peace agreements that bring stability to the middle east.
    5) The new stability makes it possible for the Jews to bebuild their 3rd temple and begin animal sacrifices again.
    6) 3.5 years into the treaty the very man who brokered the peace walks into the temple and halts the sacrifices and claims he is the Messiah.
    7) Israel rejects him and so begins the war of Armageddon where 1/3rd of the world dies.
    8) An army of 200 million march towards israel.
    9) No one can bury their dead or plunder their enemies because all battel lands will be infected (radiation)
    10) The real Messiah arrives to end the war and judge the world.

    All of that is pretty clearly outlines in biblical prophecy and they have been astoundingliy accurate thus far. So whats my point? War is coming one way or another. The bible could be wrong but I doubt it based on its flawless track record to date.

    November 24, 2011 at 2:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      It is really hard to know who the Circus Clown is on this topic, rock_head_Jesus. Is it CircusTrainer or you??
      Looks like it was the two of you when that old song Send In the Clowns started to play...

      November 24, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
    • kire

      Keep your stupid ¤%¤# for yourself! "flawless track record" ROFL!!

      November 24, 2011 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Sevinthseal

      If they even tried to perform animal sacrifices, PETA would tear them a new aßhole. And the bible's "track record" is about as flawless as Reaganomics.

      November 24, 2011 at 3:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Shiva

    Russia doesn`t need friends like NATO and USA anymore, we`d better turn our faces to China and other countries who are responsible for their own words and actions

    November 24, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • rock_on_Jesus

      Whatever you do make sure you are on Israels side when the #@! hits the fan. People have been trying to wipe out the Jews for thousands of years and no one has succeeded. If there is another war it will be an east VS west with Israel as the focus. I fear for any full that apposes Gods chosen nation. History has proven countless times that all who rise against Israel will be cut to pieces. Not because God shows favoritism but because he still has a purpose for them and anyone who tries to wipe them out will be obliterated.

      November 24, 2011 at 2:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. 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 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • rock_on_Jesus

      More people have died in the Arab spring than in all the US mini wars this decade. If it wasnot for the US we would have had another world war by now. The US although sometimes a bully is the big brother that keeps all the tools in the shed. Thank God America a reasonable nation has such power. If Any islamic nation or Russia had the same power they would have abused it far more than America has to date.

      I live in Africa and I can say God bless America because quite frankly, I dont trust any other nation to wield the power they do. They might not be perfect but they could do A LOT worse.

      November 24, 2011 at 2:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Concerned

      There would not be any US involvement if not for oil.

      # 1 Saudi Arabia: 262,700,000,000 barrels (ally of the US)
      # 2 Canada: 178,900,000,000 barrels (ally of the US)
      # 3 Iran: 133,300,000,000 barrels – "not ally of US – lets bomb it, they are bad!"
      # 4 Iraq: 112,500,000,000 barrels – Iraq destroyed by US down to stone age
      # 5 United Arab Emirates: 97,800,000,000 barrels (ally of the US)
      # 6 Kuwait: 96,500,000,000 barrels – Persian Gulf War by US
      # 7 Venezuela: 75,590,000,000 barrels – "not ally of US – they are bad, lats free these people!"
      # 8 Russia: 69,000,000,000 barrels – leave it so far
      # 9 Libya: 40,000,000,000 barrels – oh, really?They too?

      and there is no US in the top 10 hydrocarbon countries.

      November 24, 2011 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Lorz

      yeah !but when something bad happens in this world ,the first country that they ask for help is USA,and then when they do what they have to do the whole world thinks they r it not ironic?

      November 24, 2011 at 3:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ivan Ivanov

    Don't take it in mind. This speech is only a part of PR technology.

    November 24, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Patrick Henry

    The truth is simple and clear. Mr. Putin is getting desperate. Mr. Putin's own people are turning against him in increasing numbers. He was heavily booed recently while making a short speech at a sports arena in Moscow.

    President Obama has proven to be a worthy opponent for Mr. Putin. Obama's foreign policy has minimized Russia's sphere of influence to the dismay of Mr. Putin. Mr. Putin had dreams of creating his own new Russian Empire incorporating much of the old Soviet Union in some way under his control. It was Mr. Putin's idea that he would function like a modern day Czar.

    It is interesting to watch the once all powerful and feared former KGB chief reduced to the child-like antics we are seeing coming out Moscow recently. Apparently, Mr. Putin's icy cold demeanor is not as solid as many once thought. Vladimir Vladimirich understands that his time in power is slipping away. People no longer want a "modern day czar" running their country or the world.

    There is a beginning, a middle and an end for everything and everyone as Mr. Putin is now learning. Time is running out for the once mighty Russian Bear. The infrastructure of Russia is crumbling. It's housing complexes are old and broken into pieces. The people of Russia virtually never smile. Russia is essentially a third world country with only the false veneer of a modern economy. Most significantly, Russia's military, once mighty and fierce, is an organization of disillusioned soldiers with broken spirits and no hope for the future.

    The United States is emerging now as a nation moving forward in the global community in a more thoughtful, careful way. There are many harsh challenges facing us now and in the future. If President Obama makes the right choices, the United States will occupy a much more meaningful and productive role in the global community for many decades to come.

    November 24, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike Houston

      Don't let your patriotism cloud your vision, Patrick. The Russian sharks are circling what they perceive to be a
      badly wounded U.S./Nato pack of Orcas.

      November 24, 2011 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
    • BooBooGaGa

      You are FUNNY! (and VERY naive)

      November 24, 2011 at 4:07 am | Report abuse |
    • McSimych

      Patrick, it's only your imagination. Things are different.

      November 24, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pulsars

    What the hell is Russia and the US trying to do – bring Fidel Castro out of retirement? Leave this Cold War BS in the past where it belongs!

    November 24, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike Houston

    Russia is like a predatory shark that sniffs blood in the water from a wounded U.S/NATO. Medvedev and Putin smell
    the American "blood" from political/economic struggles and a thinly stretched military. They also sense NATO foundering,
    and they are positioning themselves to strike when enough of our blood gets into the globalized business ocean. We
    had better get our economic/political wounds mended before we have to confront the Russian sharks. (not to mention
    the Chinese scavengers that are preceding them)...

    November 24, 2011 at 3:27 am | Report abuse |
  14. CommonSense

    Make Russia part of the missile shield. Problem solved. No chest-beating required.

    November 24, 2011 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
    • McSimych

      Absolutely. That's exactly what Medvedev suggested.

      November 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Petersburger

    What surprise me most is EU: Fellow europeans! You are about to be used by US as real "shield- cannon meat shield", not that fictious "missile shield"!
    Do you understand that in case of attack – no matter from WHOM – FIRST thing Russia SHOULD do is nuking all that missile shields with short range rockets or artillery? Just the same second. That is real shield – your lives!
    Looks like no other problems at EU except of beeing shield for your Daddy?

    November 24, 2011 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
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