Tuesday, Sept 3, 2008
Moscow has warned Washington that it will respond to deployment of interceptor missiles and radar facility in Poland and the Czech Republic.
“If the decision to deploy missile interceptors is made, if the radar is switched on, we will have to respond to that because we haven’t received any reasonable explanation why it’s being done,” Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Italian RAI television broadcast Tuesday without specifying what the response would entail.
The US is planning to install a tracking radar system in Czech soil, twinned with interceptor missiles in neighboring Poland, under the pretext of protecting US and Europe from potential missile attacks from the Middle East, including Iran.
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Medvedev dismissed the likelihood of such threats, stressing that the defense shields “won’t help security in Europe”.
Russia insists that US missile shield plan clearly seeks to weaken Russia.
After a year and a half of negotiations, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski signed a deal in August for siting 10 missile interceptors in Poland within a distance of just 115 miles from Russia’s western frontier.
The talks were recently stalled by Poland’s demand for US Patriot missiles to protect it from short-range missiles from Russia. Washington gave in after Poland used the Georgia conflict to justify its need for higher security.
Russia enraged by the signing of the deal, warned that it might attack the former Soviet satellite.
Analysts say Russia fears not only a potential long-term threat to its own nuclear deterrent and airspace security, but that it is also wary of NATO’s prospective enlargement plan to include the former Soviet states of Ukraine and Georgia.
This article was posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 12:35 pm