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. George Patton

    I've never seen such stupidity as the NATO countries have shown by putting up this missile "shield". Shielding us from whom, may I ask? No wonder the West is in such economic straights. Their leaders seem to have gone ape over "defending themselves" from an enemy who does not exist in the first place!!! In the West, stupidity rules!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan


      November 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Seidan

      Are you really going to sit there and pretend that North Korea hasn't sold ballistic missile technology to Iran or that Iran and Pakistan haven't worked on ballistic missile development together?

      November 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Eugene


    Here is another problem. S-400 air defence system will knock out every american plane. Think about it.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Eugene

    Say Typhoon class submerines fire or Yuriy Dolgorokuiy fire Sineva or Bulava missiles towards america, what will america do?

    November 23, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karakatiza

      No f***ing shield will protect you 🙂 Subs rule...

      November 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. NoFoolJule

    More cr*p from the US, clearly a blatant attempt to undermine Russia and nothing else. To all those dim US citizens, look who started the nuclear arms race, look who had a thousand bombs before russia had one look at who lead the field in one-upmanship. Look who lost when russia built the biggest bomb, look at Us response when russia put milssiles in cuba, and russia should sit on and watch while US leaves its nuclear DETERANT useless, When will the US stop ploughing tax dollars into its war machine.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      When reelected, OBAMA will continue these crazy ideas!

      November 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • rutcut33

      If you're going to accuse Americans of being dim-witted you should feel obligated to identify your nationality. I'm sure we can all come up with multiple reasons why your country su.cks more than ours.

      November 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • angryed

      Do some research...there are only a handful of interceptors, only in case of attack by a rouge state...nowhere near enough to guarantee blanket protection from an all out Russian strike....please explain how such a limited defensive system can negate the thousands of russian warheads!

      November 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Thank you, NoFoolJule. The problem here is that the vast majority of the American people have been most successfully brainwashed by the Washington government since they can no longer think for themselves. The stupidity of some of these people vomiting their anti-Russian ignorance here is truly disgusting!

      November 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Randy

    Dunno what they are worried about, the US economy is about to do the same thing the Russian economy did in the 90's.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. as350ba

    And so the COLD returns!!!!......bring it!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      As long as we remember, the best place to be during a nuclear attack is under our desks, we'll be fine.

      November 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Richard

    I will turn sixty years old in a couple of months and am absolutely saddened by the utter childishness of the russian leadership and it's return to coldwar like rhetoric. Maybe we should revert to even less productive activities such as covert wet-work instead of intelligent interaction between the superpowers. Mr. Putin....smooch my booty!

    November 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      Well put Richard! LOL

      November 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. military major captain john smith

    We haven't been giving the Russians enough loving lately.
    Now they are acting like north Korea in a bid for attention.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Well, 90% of world's population doesnt like how US and A acts))) Doing whatever it wants.....actually its normal to hear these words from military major capitan... Remember Afganistan. How many years you are keep trying...and trying...and trying.... The problem is that America doesnt care about "making world better"thing. Only (simply) about its own ass...(surviving on Huston military bussines...and OOOOpppps some money problems : Hey chaps! Cant me just attack some country? Cos nobody can say NO. Why dont you attack Somalie???? Or...other African country where human rights are NOT exist! BECAUSE THERE IS NO OIL... – THERE IS NOTHING TO DO. and you know what? Afganistan has the biggest mine for Litium in the world ( main sourse for making electronics and displays....very expansive thing)

      November 24, 2011 at 5:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. FUNR

    This is a Russian ploy to bolster the proponents of missile defense in the west so that the US continues to waste vast sums of money on it that could be spent more effectively elsewhere.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      Sooooo, reelect OBAMA and Russia will kick our ASS!

      November 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jack

    Anything to take the focus off of Holder's supplying weapons to the Mexican drug cartels.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. bill

    if russia wants a new cold war it can have it – but they can't afford it. they are 60% oil dependant, which is why they peddle terror and discourse in the middle east. they need oil at $60 just to feed themselves – and just above that amount to feel good about themselves and spread their crap around the world.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack

      They couldn't afford it the last time, and they went bust. Hence, we won.

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

    Russia = has-been 3rd world country. Just shut up and keep sending us your best hockey players, and we'll act like your country is still relevant.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      yep! LOL

      November 23, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karakatiza

      It truly amazes me that some people still think Russia is famous for hockey players, polar bears, and vodka. Your ignorance is laughable. Just so you know, Wikipedia is not an answer to everything. Pick up a history book...

      November 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. angryed

    If europe wants a missle shield then let them buy the system from us or Israel, we dont need to fund it or be pushing this agenda...if they feel threatened and have a need for missle defense then let them handle it...the tension will be betwen europe and Russia, we should stay out of it.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Darwin Sinclair

    Gentlemen, the time has come for Premier Dimitri Kisov to reveal the DOOMSDAY weapon.

    November 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bribarian

    Zi0nist trash and their neocons setting up the world for destruction

    November 23, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
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