Medvedev Warns of Cold War Over Missile Shield

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by lambu, May 19, 2011.

  1. lambu

    lambu Regular Member

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    SKOLKOVO - President Dmitry Medvedev warned the West on May 18 that it would face a new Cold War if it failed to address Russia's concerns over a proposed missile defense shield for Europe.

    Medvedev told reporters that the U.S. decision to push ahead with construction of the missile defense system despite Russia's objections will force Moscow "to take retaliatory measures - something that we would very much rather not do."

    "We would then be talking about developing the offensive potential of our nuclear capabilities. This would be a very bad scenario."

    The Russian leader also reaffirmed any earlier threat to pull out of the new START disarmament agreement that entered into force this year if the missile shield is deployed and operated without the Kremlin's input.

    "This would be a very bad scenario. It would be a scenario that throws us back into the Cold War era."

    Moscow has been fighting NATO plans to deploy a system the West sees as a means of protection from nations such as Iran but Russia believes could potentially be deployed against its own defenses.

    The Kremlin's biggest fear is that the shield could one day be turned around and instead of shooting down incoming missiles be used to attack Russian soil.

    On May 18, Medvedev demanded a legally-binding assurance from the United States that this will never happen - a safeguard that Moscow says Washington is refusing to give.

    NATO has thus far invited Russia to voice its concerns in formal meetings but refused to provide Moscow with a formal role in the shield's operation that it seeks.

    "We would like to see missile defense develop under clear rules," Medvedev said in the first broad-ranging press conference of his three-year presidency.

    Medvedev said he understood the United States' argument that the shield was not aimed at Russia but rather nations such as Iran.

    But he argued that such nations do not yet have the capacity to launch nuclear weapons at the West.

    "That means it is aimed against us," said Medvedev.

    "And if not, invite us to cooperate" in the shield's deployment and operation, the Russian leader said.

    Medvedev Warns of Cold War Over Missile Shield - Defense News
     
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  3. lambu

    lambu Regular Member

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    US says missile shield in Europe not directed at Russia

    WASHINGTON (AFP): The United States has said that its plans to build a missile shield in ex-communist Europe are not directed at Russia, after Moscow warned of a new Cold War over the project.

    "We have been consistent and clear for many years now that our missile defence cooperation in no way is directed at Russia," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Wednesday.

    "And in fact we want to cooperate on missile defence with Russia and we have been quite clear on that," Toner added.

    In Skolkovo, Russia, President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday warned of a new Cold War era if Russia and the West failed to agree on missile defence, in the first major news conference of his presidency.

    Russia is increasingly worried about US plans to build missile defence facilities in eastern Europe and is also offended that NATO appears to have shunned its proposals for a joint missile shield.

    Medvedev told reporters that the US decision to push ahead with construction of the missile defence system despite Russia's objections will force Moscow "to take retaliatory measures – something that we would very much rather not do."

    "We would then be talking about developing the offensive potential of our nuclear capabilities. This would be a very bad scenario."

    The Russian leader also reiterated an earlier threat to pull out of the new START disarmament agreement that entered into force this year if the missile shield is deployed and operated without the Kremlin's input.

    Moscow has been fighting NATO plans to deploy a system the West sees as a means of protection from nations such as Iran, but that Russia believes could potentially be deployed against its own defences.

    US says missile shield in Europe not directed at Russia - Brahmand.com
     

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