‘U.S. Missile Defense in Eastern Europe: How Russia Will Respond’
May 17, 2016 (EIRNS)—Under the above headline, RT International yesterday published a significant article which broadly surveys the Russian response to the NATO provocations of inaugurating the Romania Aegis Ashore facility on May 12, followed by breaking ground the next day, May 13, on the Poland Aegis Ashore facility, which is scheduled to go operational in 2018. The most prominent of the responses cited, which together point to the fact that Russia will respond asymetrically ands unpredictably, include:
- President Vladimir Putin:
"Now, after the deployment of those anti-missile system elements, we’ll be forced to think about neutralizing developing threats to Russia’s security."
- Maria Zakharova, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman:
"What we see from our Western partners cannot be called a betrayal, because a betrayal is only possible from one’s close friends. These were nefarious steps—the violation of agreements... Considering how this situation is developing, we of course reserve the right to respond."
- Mikhail Ulyanov (Foreign Ministry director for arms control): RT paraphrases Ulyanov saying that,
"theoretically, the Romanian missile defense complex by itself is not expected to present a threat to the strategic balance. However, it is impossible to determine when the U.S. and NATO will consider the level of security in Europe to be ‘sufficient’."
They then quote Ulyanov directly:
"Today, the base in Romania has been brought to operational readiness; tomorrow the first brick will be laid for the construction of a similar base in Poland. Then there are the ships, moving freely through the seas, including the Black Sea, the Barents Sea and the Baltic Sea. And the U.S. has refused discussing any limitations."
- Viktor Murakhovsky (member of the Russian Federation Council’s Military-Industrial Commission):
"At present, the Aegis Ashore facility in Romania is... not physically or technically capable of intercepting our European-based ICBMs. But just around the corner is the Block 2A modification.... Theoretically at least, Block 2A missiles could pose a threat to the potential of missiles in European Russia."
He throws out the idea that Russia should pull out of the INF treaty and place missiles in western Russia on the border with Europe:
"I remember very well the massive anti-American demonstrations taking place in the West at the time [the treaty was negotiated]. It was under this pressure that Washington agreed to the treaty. And the reason for the protests was very simple: it’s not pleasant to live knowing that you are in someone’s crosshairs. Today, it may be time to remind Washington’s Eastern European allies of this fact."