April 9, 2011
A top Kremlin official has told the United States Russia wants “red button” rights to a new US-backed missile defence system for Europe, a move that would allow it to influence the shield’s day-to-day operational use.
Sergey Ivanov, Russia’s deputy prime minister, made the controversial demand during a visit to the United States where he met with top officials including Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State.
“We insist on only one thing,” he said of the nascent US-backed missile defence shield. “That we are an equal part of it.”
“In practical terms, that means that our office will sit for example in Brussels and agree on a red-button push to launch an interceptor missile, regardless of whether the missile is launched from Poland, Russia or the UK.”
Russia has been pushing hard for a prominent role in the new missile shield for months but with little noticeable success as Washington and its allies remain deeply sceptical of Russia’s reliability as a political and military partner.
This article was posted: Saturday, April 9, 2011 at 3:36 am