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. Blessed Geek

    In the picture, he is surmising. Almost surveying the situation into the far horizon of the room.

    With important looking books behind him that he will never read.

    He is surmising, hmmm ...
    My mistress asking for anther necklace.
    My mother wants a new house
    My wife wants a new car
    AND ... and my former boss wants his job back.

    I think I better go fishing this weekend.

    November 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ivan

    This thing can impress much only westerners. I've already read a couple of comments to this saying that Russia have this right and that to react the way it reacts etc etc. Looks logical, but there is another side of the coin (as always). Russian people live under the corrupt ruthless regime that has no support of the people, because it was not elected – it was appointed by those "shadow rulers" of the country, who control it since 1917, after so called "Russian revolution". They are not gone with "perestroyka" or whatever they called it. They just changed the PR design and rules of robbery of the Russia. Now, when they sniffed how it smells like in the Egypt, Libya etc etc, they try to unite people around them, to get some support by finding the enemy outside the Kremlin walls. That is what it is in reality.

    November 25, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      so the US – we are close enough to campaign 2012, remember 😉 There's a lot of stuff in politics that can be understood only from PR perspective....
      and btw I do agree with your description of current Russian regime. But anyway does it necessarily mean that those guys can not do a single thing for a favor of Russia? nothing at all?

      November 25, 2011 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Arrexis

    The Russian president is right, is the MSD can counter Russian nuke missile's, then what/who will stop USA from launching attack?? I am for the balance of powers, till both side's are equal, none of them will attack the other, something the USA is trying to go around obviously.
    And having in mind that Russia have a lot of natural wealth – oil, gas etc, and resent thirsty of USA for them. I wouldn't be surprised if someone in Washington is trying to pull something out of their ..., well you know 🙂

    November 25, 2011 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Roman

      Screw balance of powers. I do not want maniacs holding a gun to my head calling it a balance of power. I want to go to sleep reasonably sure I will wake up tommorow.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      Roman: > Screw balance of powers. I do not want maniacs holding a gun to my head calling it a balance of power. I want to go to sleep reasonably sure I will wake up tommorow.

      That's good analogy about maniac, with a little correction – there are 2 maniacs (US and Russian governments) holding guns against each other's heads. It is the balance, and if only one maniac has a gun – no matter which one – bang-bang, you won't wake up tomorrow, Roman

      November 26, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • yes

      you know that the US is more democratic, more sane, more invested in people globally. the russian government has too much baggage. if any country has more power, i am glad it is the US as even right now they are more sane than the countries next in line.

      November 26, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark (Italia)

    I really wonder what the Americans would say if Russia decided to put a missile "defence" system in cuba, just in case there is a threat from some unstable south american country in the future. What if they built mobile missile platforms off the coast of the US? Do you think the American public or politicians would be happy with this? How would they feel if this situation was reversed? And you should read the official speech from Medvedev. http://eng.kremiln.ru/news/3115 – Not the watered down versions given to you by the "free" western press.

    I live in Europe and frankly speaking I do not want this missile shield. No Europeans want this missile shield. We do not need any interference from the US at all. We are not scared of Iran or anyone in the middle east. Team America – World Police!

    November 25, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark (Italia)

      http://eng.kremlin.ru/news/3115

      November 25, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Uhmmmm ... I don't see the analogy here. A missile defense system in Cuba would stop US-based missiles from targeting the atlantic ocean. Any US missiles headed toward asia/middle east/russia, would be heading over Canada, missiles targetting south America, over mexico.

      The right analogy would be a Russian missile defense system in Canada or Greenland ... which will never happen, but for the sake of argument.

      November 25, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
    • joseph

      Obiviously, you don't want the USA to interfere for your lack of willingness to accept the truth. Might I add the Britts didn't want us to interfere either, but had we not you'd probably be speaking German right now as a result. I forget how uneducated some of you people are who read the news. Also, Russia is a threat just as much as China,North Korea and Iran is. They are the equivilant of axis of evil in todays world. Call me mad but if there is no missile defense you can kiss little sweet Europe good buy, while we in the USA will never stand down when there is a threat and the enemy will think more than once before ever even considering a nuclear lauch or a bullet even against our countrymen. That is what makes us stand apart from all the rest of the world, we never quit. Remember if we really wanted to make Europe a part of the USA we can take it over in less than a week, O wait we already have over 1200 bases in Europe already, so I guess we are here to stay.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tat

      Mark, I totally agree. Who cares in Europe? It Looks like One Day it will be Europe who will Pay for all Stupidity US made by raising their perfect system. But show me any example of their cleverness, their medicine, education, technologies are much to be desired.

      November 29, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. egonomist

    Это все политика! Я мне 25 – 2 высших образования – финансовый аналитик в крупном банке. вырос в 90. Всей душой ненавижу US -это менталитет. Учу английский – общаюсь с американцами – Вы хорошие люди. Но если мне дадут красную кнопку – обязательно нажму. Это все политика и ее воздействие на умы социума.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
    • MadMax

      translated by google:

      > It's all politics! I I 25 – 2 degrees – financial analyst at a major bank. rose to 90. With all my heart I hate US-it mentality. I teach English – talk to the Americans – you are good people. But if you give me a red button – be sure to press. It's all politics and its impact on the minds of society.

      egonomist, it seems you're just another moron – now from another side... what's the difference between you and morons from US that eager to destroy Russia? Start to think for yourself – don't let politicians to think for you

      November 25, 2011 at 4:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Anna

    Let us not play along with the politicians and ensure that their manipulation is having an effect on us. We live in the world of free information; let us make our own opinions, not influenced by politicians. Who needs arms race in our day and age – only the governments and their war-mongering, money grabbing cronies. Wars are very profitable. We, the people, do not need any of this. The American and the Russian people should be on the same side, not the governments’ side.

    November 25, 2011 at 4:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Well put, Anna. Thank you.

      November 25, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Паоло

      Аминь. Я согласен!

      November 25, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. Freedom

    I quote directly from the President’s speech: “At the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon a year ago, I proposed developing a joint sector-based missile defense system in Europe where every country would be responsible for a particular sector.” “Our only goal was to preserve the basic principle that Europe does not need new dividing lines, but rather, a common security perimeter with Russia’s equal and legally enshrined participation. It is my conviction that this approach would create unique opportunities for Russia and NATO to build a genuine strategic partnership. We are to replace the friction and confrontation in our relations with the principles of equality, indivisible security, mutual trust, and predictability. Regrettably, the USA and other NATO partners have not showed enough willingness to move in this direction.”

    November 25, 2011 at 5:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Yes Freedom, you have the right idea here. Unfortunately, the NATO countries being driven by greed and profit, find such a partnership less profitable than an outright arms race. The MIC(military-industrial-complex) rules as always!!!

      November 25, 2011 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
    • McSimych

      Freedom: Thank you for the quotation. This is exactly what Medvedev said. He suggested not confrontation but cooperation. What else does he have to do but to make such a declaration after USA's refusal to cooperate? It isn't yet late to stop a new cold war. Everything depends on NATO's reaction.

      November 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. simonbolivar

    Why are we wasting money and time on a missle defense system for Europe??? The Russians and all of Europe are our allies. They dont need protection from ballistic missles. As for the Iranians, they are just rattling their sabres. Just like the North Koreans do. And you dont see the US a building missle defense system for south east Asia. I dont think that the Iranians are that stupid. And just like North Korea. They know that if they were to use them. The consequenses would be dire for them. Look at what happened when the twin towers were 1st bombed then destroyed. Every country in the world backed off and said it was not their doing. And they all pointed their fingers at Al Queda in Afganastan. They all grouped together to to help out. So if the Iranians did do that with nuclear weapons. They would be alone in the world. And have to face its fury. I think that people of Iran would rise up and bring to justice the people responsible it. Because they would not want to face the fury of the world because of a couple ignorant bullies. We need to spend money here at home. Fixing the puplic school systems that are older than the teachers that work in them. Home is where the money should stay. Dont you think??????

    November 25, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Roman

      So you think Iranians will not fire their missles? And if you're wrong, you just going to say, oops sorry millons of dead Europiens I was wrong? It's a good bet for you.

      November 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • BOMBO

      Thank you, simonbolivar. How so very true that is!!!

      November 25, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AGuest9

    Sooo... The Cold War is suddenly back on?

    November 25, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Smolett

    So, US need a new enemy to get approval for a military budget? Or this is another tour at Cowboy gaming? And now again enemy is Russia. So sad. So sad if people support this escalation. It is clear that Europeans do everything to get one more dollar from US. But Americans – think what you do! Think what you support! This is not a game! This is nuclear weapon! Stop spreading your army and your rockets all over the world! This is a game when one inaccurate move can destroy everything and everybody. Why you are deploying your rockets next to Russian borders and at the same time smiling and saying: “these are just toys. Nothing bad fro Russia”? Looks so stupid….

    November 27, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Natalija

    What did USA do when nuclear threat was waving from Cuba while ago?Do we really need an enemy now when we all start to think Global?
    Best wishes..to us all.
    Happy thanksgiving!
    p.s.
    Poor turkeys.

    November 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Oleg from Russia

    I absolutely agree with Smolett!
    The U.S. military needs a money, get them hard without an enemy.
    Is not it obvious?
    President of Russia and Russian people don't wants rush of armaments, but the U.S. forcing to do it. Maybe it's time to stop and send the money for other peaceful purposes?

    November 27, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Pacoatemiami

    Let's just cooperate (NATO and Russia) on this missile defense system. We both have enough problems with the Middle East without creating unnecessary problems with each other.

    December 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. moros

    Russia will never take into account the views of the west. This is just another pathetic attempt to stay relevant in the world after the USSR's collapse.

    The russians are not the allies of the U.S., they are selfish thugs who talk large to make up for their lack of power. Their support of Assad in syria is proof of this.

    December 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MCjiang

    You guys realize missile shields don't work right?
    No country has a true missile "shield", this whole debate is about nothing.

    December 16, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
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