Medvedev Says U.S. Forcing European Missile Defense

Global Security Newswire
November 28, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday claimed that the United States was largely alone driving the fielding of antimissile systems around Europe, Reuters reported.

“The construction of the European missile defense shield has been largely imposed (on Europe) by the United States,” Medvedev said to journalists.

Washington and NATO have sought for the last year to persuade Moscow to join their developing Europe-based missile shield. The sides remain at odds over the organization of such a cooperative system and on Russia’s demand for a legally binding pledge that its nuclear forces would not be targeted by the NATO elements.

Medvedev said on Wednesday that if the issue remains unresolved, Russia would field Iskander missiles and a new long-range radar system in the Kaliningrad region to nullify the advantages of the planned NATO missile shield. He also threatened to withdraw from the U.S.-Russian New START nuclear arms control agreement.

The Russian president said unidentified European leaders had griped to him that their countries were regulated to secondary status in efforts to establish the NATO antimissile system.

“My partners … have hinted to me from time to time: ‘It is the Americans who decided that, they are promoting it, and our role as NATO member states is to provide territory,'” Medvedev said. …

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