World

May 4, 2012

Russian military raise the ante on missile defense

by Mansur Mirovalev
Associated Press

Russia’s top military officer has threatened to deal a pre-emptive strike on U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if Washington goes ahead with its controversial missile defense plan.

President Dmitry Medvedev said last year Russia will retaliate militarily if it does not reach agreement with the United States and NATO. Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov May 3 went further, raising the ante in the missile defense controversy.

“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” he said

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov also warned May 3 that talks between Moscow and Washington on the U.S.-led NATO missile defense plan in Europe are “close to a dead end.”

Moscow rejects Washington’s claim that the plan is solely to deal with any Iranian missile threat and has voiced fears it will eventually become powerful enough to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent.

May 3y, the start of a two-day conference with representatives from about 50 countries, a top Russian defense official reiterated Moscow’s offer to run the missile shield together with NATO.

Russia’s Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said such a jointly run European missile defense system “could strengthen security of every single country of the continent” and “would be adequate to possible threats and will not deter strategic security.”

NATO has said it wants to cooperate with Russia on the missile shield, but the alliance has rejected Moscow’s proposal to run it jointly.

NATO’s deputy secretary general, Alexander Vershbow, told the conference Thursday morning that the U.S.-led missile shield is “not and will not be directed against Russia” and that its intercontinental ballistic missiles are “too fast and too sophisticated” for the planned system to intercept.

The conference in Moscow is the last major Russia-U.S. meeting about military issues before a NATO summit in Chicago later this month. Russia hasn’t said whether it will send top officials there. Without a NATO-Russia cooperation deal, the Kremlin has sought guarantees from the U.S. that any future missile defense is not aimed at Russia as well as threatening to retaliate if no such deal is negotiated.

U.S. missile defense plans in Europe have been one of the touchiest subjects in U.S.-Russian relations going back to the administration of President Barack Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush.

The Obama administration tried in 2009 to ease tensions with Russia by saying it would revamp Bush’s plan to emphasize shorter-range interceptors. Russia initially welcomed that move, but has more recently suggested the new interceptors could threaten its missiles as the U.S. interceptors are upgraded.

Russia recently threatened to target missiles at the U.S. missile defense systems in Europe and just commissioned a radar in Kaliningrad, near the Polish border, capable of monitoring missile launches from Europe and the North Atlantic.

The missile defense plans follow a “phased-adaptive” approach using Aegis radars and interceptors on ships and a more powerful radar based in Turkey in the first phase, followed by radar and interceptor facilities in Romania and Poland.

U.S. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., on a visit to Lithuania lashed out at Russia’s plans of what he described as a military build-up in Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost point.

McCain said using missile defense as “excuse to have a military buildup in this part of the world, which is at peace, is really an egregious example of what might be even viewed as paranoia on the part of Vladimir Putin.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 
 

Kremlin pursues military modernization despite economic woes

Hundreds of new Russian aircraft, tanks and missiles are rolling off assembly lines. Russian jets roar through European skies under NATO’s wary eye. Tens of thousands of troops take part in war games showing off the military’s readiness for all-out war. The muscle flexing suggests that Russia’s economic woes so far are having no impact...
 

 

Ukraine plans $3 billion boost to defense spending

KIEV, Ukraine – Ukraine’s president announced plans Aug. 24 to boost his country’s defense spending by an estimated 50 percent as government forces seek to overpower pro-Russian separatists in the east. President Petro Poroshenko pledged to spend an extra 40 billion hryvnia ($3 billion) by 2017 during a speech marking Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet...
 
 

Iran unveils new short-range missiles, drones

Iran unveiled a new generation of short-range marine missiles and aerial drones Aug. 24, as President Hassan Rouhani said its military doctrine was based on deterring and countering threats from unnamed foreign powers. The official IRNA news agency said the Ghadir missile, with a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles), is designed to destroy marine...
 
 

NATO ups military presence amid Russian threat

NATO is strengthening its military footprint along its eastern border immediately in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, the alliance’s chief said April 16. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO’s air policing aircraft will fly more sorties over the Baltic region west of Ukraine, far from the tensions in the eastern part of the...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>