Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said this week that he has
ordered the Russian military to immediately take measures to counter
US plans to install advanced radars and anti-missile interceptors in
Russia will target US anti-missile sites in Europe, deploy
advanced radars to monitor all missile launches from NATO territory,
and might even withdraw from the New START arms reduction treaty
that came into force this year unless Washington takes dramatic
steps to allay Moscow's concerns over plans to deploy major elements
of an anti-missile shield in several European countries, President
Dmitry Medvedev warned this week.
In his toughest-ever foreign policy statement, which Russian
officials qualified Friday as "a call to dialogue," Mr. Medvedev
said he has ordered the Russian military to immediately take
measures to restore the strategic balance - as Moscow understands it
- to counter US plans to install advanced radars and anti-missile
interceptors in countries such as Poland, Romania, and Turkey in the
next few years.
Analysts say the harsh Russian line could undermine President
Obama's "reset" policy of making concessions in order to establish
practical cooperation with Moscow, at a time when it is already
under withering fire at home from Republicans who argue that Mr.
Obama has already given away too much to the Kremlin with little to
show for it in return.
Medvedev said that unless Obama signs a clearly worded and
legally-binding statement declaring that NATO's anti-missile weapons
will never be used against Russia, he will have "no choice" but to
go ahead with Russian countermeasures, which would include
stationing medium-range Iskander missiles in Russia's western
enclave of Kaliningrad, from where they could rapidly strike NATO
facilities across Europe.
"If our partners show an honest and responsible attitude towards
taking into account Russia's legitimate security interests, I am
sure we can come to an agreement," Medvedev said. "But if we are
asked to 'cooperate' or in fact act against our own interests it
will be difficult to establish common ground. In such a case we
would be forced to take a different response."
"If the situation continues to develop not to Russia's favor, we
reserve the right to discontinue further disarmament and arms
control measures," including withdrawal from the New START treaty,
The impasse over US missile defense plans has long been viewed by
analysts on both sides as a make-or-break issue in efforts to get
beyond the cold war legacy and forge a genuine strategic partnership
between the US and Russia. Moscow fears that future development of
the shield could undermine Russia's nuclear deterrent, whose core is
a force of aging land-based Soviet-era intercontinental ballistic
But analysts are baffled over why Medvedev appears to have chosen
to force the issue right now. …