NATO-Russia Missile Defense Talks at Dead End, Rogozin Alarms

Defense | July 1, 2011, Friday // 16:15|  views

Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin has issued a new warning against the US/NATO missile defense in Europe. Photo by

The talks for a joint missile defense system in Europe between NATO and Russia have reached a dead end, according to Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's Ambassador to NATO.

Rogozin, who is known for making frequent warnings on part of the Russian government against US and NATO plans, has warned of an imminent "arms race" if the talks fail. On Friday, he warned that Russia

"'The talks right now are at a dead end. If they (NATO) do not by the end of the year tell us exactly what they're planning ... we will respond," Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to NATO, told the Interfax news agency.

His comments came ahead of Monday's Russia-NATO summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

A US-led plan to set up a missile defense network in Eastern Europe would, if put into operation, pose a direct threat to Russian national security, Rogozin said, as cited by DPA.

"We will never give any one control over our 'red' button, never. We hope, after the discussions, that they (NATO) will have a more complete understanding of the Russian position," Rogozin declared.

Russian officials on Thursday said the former Soviet republic Belarus, which is flanked on two sides by NATO states, will likely become the first foreign recipient of Russia's advanced S-400 air defense system, which is designed to shoot down missiles.

Rogozin repeated an offer first made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in May that, rather than each establishing its own anti-missile in Eastern Europe, NATO and Russia should set up a joint defense system linking both sides' air defence radars.

The original US missile defense in Europe plan of George W. Bush administration provided for stationing interceptors in Poland and the radar station in the Czech Republic. The modification of the plan by the Obama Administration switched it to sea-borne missiles and, later on, locations in southeastern Europe. Initially, there were reports and expectations that Romania and Bulgaria will replace Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively.

During its summit in November 2010 in Lisbon, NATO agreed to adopt the previously purely US missile shield project as its own. The summit did cast some serious doubts over Turkey's participation in the missile defense system because it insisted that its Muslim neighbor Iran should not be mentioned as a source of threat in the respective documents, and eventually prevailed.

In May 2011, the US State Department and Romanian President Traian Basescu announced that the interceptor missiles of the future NATO/US missile shield in Europe will be stationed at the Deveselu Air Base near Caracal, Romania.

Bulgaria is likely to host elements of the US/NATO missile defense system in Europe instead of Turkey if Turkey refuses to host them, according to a statement of Bulgarian Deputy Defense Minister Avgustina Tsvetkova made in June 2011.

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Tags: EPAA, air base, Deveselu, NATO, missile shield, missile defense, US, Traian Basescu, Romania, turkey, Avgustina Tsvetkova, radar system, Dmitry Rogozin, arms race


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