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. John

    Russia is a bunch of putzes that forgot the cold war was over decades ago.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Slade

    Ruck Fussia

    November 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. reel American

    Don't worry Palin is keeping an eye on them

    November 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. choddy

    who ties this guys tie anyhow.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Reading these posts reveals the disparity between the public educational systems in the USA today and the schools that existed when I attended them.
    The POVs concerning egalitarianism, economic systems, and aspiration are completely different now.

    The new mentality regarding "trust" and national security is terrifying to any realistic thinker.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      Don't you mean, "PsOV"? 🙂

      November 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clyde

      Your right. Today the majority of blog opinions are extreme. Where are the conservatives?

      November 23, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gliese42

    Russia's fears that the weapon is too near its border but I still believe NATO and Europe's failure is to bring in Russia within its community without them having the fear of being attacked by its neighbors.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gung hoe

    For those of you that is cheering russia on and hopeing that russia kicks the united states but,Might I say that if you love a country other than the united states of america well than go and live there.Neither do we want you or care about you or your kind!! If you dont understand that try this , If you dont love our country get to hell out!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Misty69

    The real shame on all CNN sites it the moderators who delete comments like mine that are legitimate but have certain prejudice against some posters and the power to delete them.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Eugene

    Yes, Russia is not Iraq or Lybia. Thousands of nuclear weapons,. Topol-M, Sineva, Bulava, Iskander. Thousands of air to air and gound to air missiles. S-300 and S-400 air defence system. Thousands of air fighters, iterceptors and bombers. This is what I want to see NATO taking on Russia.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jon

    Let's see. They are threatening to build the best weapons they can. Isn't that what every country is supposed to do anyway? If we gave them their demands, would they stop from building the best weapons they could? The whole discussion seems rather silly.

    November 23, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hols

    Yanks will be yanks. Russia is doing the right thing by protecting its own interests and not falling for the crap from WH.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Smitty

    Oh ...... so we should get rid of our protection so that their missiles can enter and kill us all......very intelligent. That is like a cop being confronted by a robber with a gun and the cop tells the robber "well, let me take off my bullet-proof vest so you can shoot me better"......

    November 23, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. reel American

    This is all Obama's fault We need George W. back then we coul bomb the crap out of Russia "GO TEA PARTY" the only real Americans left

    November 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Telecom

    I do agree with president, for many years US is lookign for ONE THING and that is 'One World Order' they want to be the police of the whole wolrd, it is not about missile, its about controling the region, the days of Militar power are due long ago, now is all about who control the energy source, they got Iraq, they really badly want Iran, they got Libya, Suadi Arabia is thier popet and their highest deficits are owed to US. so do the math, if US gets Iran then they control 67% of world Oil, what do you think would happen to Russia and China???

    November 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • reel American

      If a Conservative is in office they will fall to their knees

      November 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  15. The Real Truth

    Its all Obama's fault, He should have helped kick in Iran's house of cards government when the Iranian people were rallying against it, then there wouldn't be a need for a missile shield.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
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