Harry de Quetteville and Andrew Pierce
Saturday, Aug 16, 2008
Only 24 hours after the weapons agreement was signed Russia’s deputy chief of staff warned Poland “is exposing itself to a strike 100 per cent”.
General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said that any new US assets in Europe could come under Russian nuclear attack with his forces targeting “the allies of countries having nuclear weapons”.
He told Russia’s Interfax news agency: “By hosting these, Poland is making itself a target. This is 100 per cent certain. It becomes a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority.”
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Russia’s nuclear rhetoric marks an intense new phase in the war of words over Georgia. The Caucasus conflict has spiralled into a Cold War style confrontation between Moscow and Washington in less than a week.
The stand off between the two cold War powers was underlined by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who dismissed US claims that the silo is a deterrent against ‘rogue states’ like Iran as “a fairy tale”. He told reporters at the Black Sea resort of Sochi: “The deployment of new missile defence facilities in Europe is aimed against the Russian Federation.”
President George W. Bush in a brief but pointed statement earlier in the day said: “The Cold War is over… Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.”
This article was posted: Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 4:39 am