MOSCOW – Responding to Washington’s failure to bring Russia on board the European missile defence system, President Dmitry Medvedev announces sweeping plans to address what Moscow deems to be a threat to national security. According to RT news channel, Medvedev said he will deploy strike systems in the west and south of the country and deploy Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region in order to counter the risk posed by the European missile defence system. “By my order the Defence Ministry will run in a warning system radar station in Kaliningrad without delay,” Russian President said on Wednesday when commenting on the situation with the NATO missile defence system in Europe. Russia may also refuse to undertake additional steps toward disarmament in the event that its national security remains at risk. “In the event of unfavorable developments (in regards to European missile defence), Russia reserves the right to halt further steps in the disarmament sphere and, respectively, weapons control,” Medvedev said.
“Besides, given the inseparable interconnection between the strategic offense and defense weapons, grounds may appear for our country’s withdrawal from the START treaty.” Meanwhile, Russia remains open to dialogue with the US and NATO regarding missile defense issues, but the cooperation must have clear legal parameters, Medvedev said. “We are not closing the door to further dialogue on missile defense with the US and the North Atlantic alliance, nor to practical cooperation in this area. We are ready for further dialogue,” the Russian leader stressed. “The path towards such work depends upon the creation of a clear legal basis for our cooperation that will reflect our legitimate interests.”
President Medvedev’s warning follows an announcement by the United States on Tuesday that it would stop sharing information with Russia on non-nuclear military forces in Europe, the BBC informs. The information was being provided to Moscow under the CFE (Conventional forces in Europe) treaty. Presidents Obama and Medvedev signed the New Start nuclear arms treaty – to reduce their nuclear arsenals – in April 2010 and it was ratified by the US Senate last December.
In September, the US and Romania signed a deal on hosting elements of the American missile shield at Deveselu (South).