December 1, 2011

Russia Considers U.S. Missile Defense Sites in Europe a Threat to Its Nuclear Forces So It Will Deploy Missiles Aimed at Those Sites

Bible prophecy describes the battle of Armageddon as a coalition of nations that will almost certainly include China and Russia and several Muslim nations of the Middle East. Every day, the evidence mounts that China will be tightly leagued with Russia and many of the Islamic nations in a powerful anti-Israel political and military alliance from which the 200-million-man army described in the book of Revelation (Rev. 9:16) will ultimately come. - The Sixth Trumpet War of Revelation 9

Russia Opens New Radar in Warning to U.S. and NATO

November 29, 2011

President Dmitry Medvedev opened an early-warning radar station on Russian territory bordering two NATO nations on Tuesday, in a bid to press the United States to back down in a dispute over U.S. plans for a European missile shield.

Medvedev visited the facility in Kaliningrad -- Russia's westernmost point, sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea -- and said Moscow was prepared to take other measures to counter the developing shield.

He said opening the station showed Moscow's detemination to build up its offensive and defensive capabilities if the United States and NATO pushed ahead with an anti-missile shield aimed against Iran that Russia says is a threat to its security.

"I hope this step will be perceived by our Western partners as the first signal of our country's readiness to respond adequately to the threats which the missile defence system poses to our strategic nuclear forces," he told military officials.

The visit was the latest display of Russian resolve by Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ahead of a parliamentary election on Sunday in which polls show the ruling party could lose ground.

Opening the radar station was one of the steps Medvedev announced last week in a stern statement outlining Russia's response to the European missile shield that the United States plans to put in place by 2020.

Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said the radar would reach 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) westward, a reach Air and Space Forces chief Oleg Ostapenko said exceeded that of existing early-warning stations near St. Petersburg and in Belarus.

The United States says the missile shield is needed to counter a growing threat from Iran. But Moscow says it could be used to shoot down the nuclear missiles it has relied on for security since the Cold War.

"The European missile defence system that is currently being deployed ... creates significant problems for the security of the Russian Federation," Medvedev said in remarks at the radar station, a blocky facility surrounded by barbed wire.


Talks aimed at forging cooperation on a European missile shield appear deadlocked over Russia's demand for legally binding limits on the system, a non-starter in Washington because of opposition to any restrictions on missile defence.

Medvedev said NATO could use the radar station as part of a missile defence system if the Cold War foes can agree to cooperate, but repeated last week's threat to deploy weapons targeting the NATO system "if our signal is not heard".

Most of the measures Medvedev outlined last week, including the station's opening, had already been planned.

Medvedev's tough talk is aimed in part at a domestic audience ahead of the election.

But analysts say Russia is also overstating the threat from the NATO missile defence system to use the issue as a bargaining chip with the West.

Medvedev, who signed the landmark New START nuclear weapons limitation treaty with Obama in 2010, said last week Russia's appetite for further arms control would depend on whether its concerns about missile defence were addressed.

On Monday, Russia's NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin suggested Moscow could reduce its support for the alliance's campaign in Afghanistan if the United States and NATO did not heed its warnings about missile defence, Russian news agencies reported.

Russia currently lets the United States and NATO transport supplies headed for Afghanistan across its territory.

Russia Threatens to Aim Missiles at U.S. Defense Sites in Europe

Russia considers the plans for missile shields in Europe, including in Romania and Poland, to be a threat to its nuclear forces, but the Obama administration insists they are meant to fend off a potential threat from Iran.

The Associated Press
November 23, 2011

Russia will deploy new missiles aimed at US missile defense sites in Europe if Washington goes ahead with the planned shield despite Russia's concerns, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday.

Russia will station missiles in its westernmost Kaliningrad region and other areas if Russia and NATO fail to reach a deal on the US-led missile defense plans, he said in a tough statement that seemed to be aimed at rallying domestic support.

Russia considers the plans for missile shields in Europe, including in Romania and Poland, to be a threat to its nuclear forces, but the Obama administration insists they are meant to fend off a potential threat from Iran.

Moscow has agreed to consider NATO's proposal last fall to cooperate on the missile shield, but the talks have been deadlocked over how the system should operate. Russia has insisted that the system should be run jointly, which NATO has rejected.

Medvedev also warned that Moscow may opt out of the New START arms control deal with the United States and halt other arms control talks if the US proceeds. The Americans had hoped that the treaty would stimulate progress further ambitious arms control efforts, but such talks have stalled over tension on the missile plans...

The US plan calls for placing land- and sea-based radars and interceptors in European locations over the next decade and upgrading them over time.

Medvedev warned that Russia will deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, a Baltic Sea exclave bordering Poland, and place weapons in other areas in Russia's west and south to target US missile defense sites.

Medvedev added that prospective Russian strategic nuclear missiles will be fitted with systems that would allow them to penetrate prospective missile defenses.

He and other Russian leaders have made similar threats in the past, and the latest statement appears to be aimed at domestic audience ahead of Dec. 4 parliamentary elections.

Medvedev Threatens to Target U.S. Missile Shield in Europe If No Deal is Reached

The Washington Post
November 23, 2011

President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday that Russia will target the American missile defense system in Europe with its missiles if Moscow cannot reach an agreement with Washington and NATO on how the system will be built and operated.

Medvedev, who is leading the ruling United Russia party to the polls in the country’s Dec. 4 parliamentary elections, accused the United States and its NATO allies of failing to negotiate with Russia in good faith, and he said Russia reserved the right to halt its arms-control efforts.

“Unfortunately, the United States and other NATO partners have not demonstrated serious readiness to move,” he said in a televised address.

His declaration comes after a week of bellicose statements by Russian officials about NATO. Much of the rhetoric has focused on the prospect of NATO expansion, which is not under discussion but which is an ever-handy political touchstone for Russian military and nationalist groups.

Medvedev, who is stepping aside so Prime Minister Vladimir Putin can take his place, said there is still time to reach an agreement. Putin has said he will appoint Medvedev prime minister.

“Russia has the political will to achieve the necessary understandings that can open a fundamentally new page in our relations with the United States and the North Atlantic alliance,” Medvedev said.

Medvedev wants Russia to have an equal voice in the design of the missile defense system and ironclad guarantees that the system will not be used against it. Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s hard-line ambassador to NATO, said at a later news conference that Medvedev’s announcement does not herald a return to the Cold War.

In the United States, Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said the missile defense program is not a threat to Russia’s security and “is focused on addressing the growing missile threat from Iran.”

The United States has been forthcoming with Russia about the program, Kirby said.

“We have been addressing Russia’s concerns through an intensive dialogue and detailed briefings at senior levels,” he said. “The U.S. and NATO have welcomed Russia to participate in missile defense cooperation. This is the best way for Russia to receive transparency and assurances that missile defense is not a threat.”

But elections tend to bring out the saber-rattling side of politicians. United Russia’s popularity has been sagging, and there are deep pockets of quiet resentment within the military over far-reaching reforms designed to streamline the armed forces. Medvedev’s turn toward tough talk could help him shore up support as voters head to the polls.

“I must say Medvedev’s statement smells a lot of catering to a domestic audience with the upcoming election,” said Hans Kristensen, a nuclear and arms-control expert at the Federation of American Scientists. “It’s counterproductive.”

Medvedev has always portrayed himself as more Western-leaning than Putin. It was just a year ago that he met with the heads of NATO states in Lisbon and said Russia would be interested in joining the missile defense system if accepted as a full partner, something Putin had not endorsed in his two terms as president.

On Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov anticipated Medvedev’s address.

“If we try to single out one problem that is most capable of poisoning the atmosphere of the Euro-Atlantic dialogue, then, certainly, this will be the unilateral plans to deploy parts of the U.S. global missile-defense system in European states under the NATO aegis,” he said, as reported by the Interfax news agency. “These plans are being implemented with no consideration for Russia’s legitimate concerns, thus undermining the principle of indivisibility of security.”

The U.S. missile defense plan, which dates to the Reagan administration, was revamped two years ago into a proposed system of interceptors based on land and at sea around Europe. The Obama administration says the system is designed to protect against Iranian missiles and wants Russia to become part of it. But defense officials in Moscow — who remember that a missile shield was first proposed with Soviet missiles in mind — says it could easily be turned against Russia.

“Bases in Poland, starting from 2018, to say nothing of American warships deployed in the Northern seas, put the Russian strategic nuclear potential under threat of strike” throughout the European part of the country, Rogozin, the ambassador to NATO, said Wednesday.

Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, voiced American frustration.

“In multiple channels, we have explained to Russian officials that the missile defense systems planned for deployment in Europe do not and cannot threaten Russia’s strategic deterrent. Its implementation is going well, and we see no basis for threats to withdraw from it.”

Medvedev said he has ordered the installation of an early-warning radar system in Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost enclave. Missiles in what were described as the southern and western parts of Russia are to be equipped with what he called advanced counter-missile systems.

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