Friday, November 28, 2008
Russia has intensified efforts to develop new ballistic missiles in response to U.S. plans to deploy an anti-missile system in Europe, Interfax news agency quoted a top Russian general as saying on Friday.
The decision by the United States to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic has angered Moscow, which says Russia’s national security will be compromised by the U.S. anti-missile system.
Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov, Commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, was quoted by Interfax as saying that Russia had bolstered its efforts to develop new missiles.
“At the present time, work has been intensified to create the research and technical foundation for new missile systems, which will be needed after 2020,” Solovtsov said.
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced on November 5 that Moscow would install Iskander short-range missile systems near the Polish border if Washington proceeds with its missile plans.
Medvedev also said Russia would try to electronically jam the U.S. system.
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Russia’s relations with Washington this year hit their lowest ebb since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union after a row over the war against U.S. ally Georgia and Moscow’s recognition of two Georgian rebel regions as independent states.
Kremlin officials say the U.S. has failed to listen to their concerns about the missile shield, which Washington says is needed to protect against “rogue states” such as Iran.
Russia’s missile forces commander said the first of a new generation of Russian RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missiles will enter service in December 2009, Interfax reported.