MOSCOW, February 3 (RIA Novosti)
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In a documentary aired by Russian state television on the eve of a global security conference in Munich, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reiterated his confidence that U.S. missile shield plans were aimed at undermining Russia’s defense capabilities.
“Today, neither Iran, nor North Korea poses a threat… Today, it’s missile defense that is certainly aimed at neutralizing Russia’s nuclear missile potential,” Putin said in the documentary, entitled “Cold Politics,” which was aired by the First Channel late on Thursday.
Radars to be installed near Russia’s western borders as part of the NATO missile defense system would shield the entire territory of European Russia, Putin said. Yet Washington officials “do not want to provide any guarantees” that their missile plans are not directed against Russia, he added.
Moscow is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the NATO missile shield will not target Russia. Washington, however, refuses to provide the guarantees, saying the shield is intended to defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran.
In the documentary, Putin also noted that the United States was the only country to use nuclear weapons, referring to the 1945 bombing of Japan.
“We cannot forget this, and we will always react to threats that would emerge near our borders,” Putin said.
In an apparent reference to Iran, he also criticized what he described as calls by some members of the UN Security Council for “intervention and regime change in some countries” which they believe may obtain “weapons of mass destruction.”
“It seems to me that our partners are looking for vassals, not allies. They want to govern. But Russia cannot come into line with this,” he said.
Putin’s comments were aired on the eve of the 48th Munich Security Conference, in which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will take part along with dozens of top officials and security experts from around the world.
Ahead of the conference, which runs from February 3 to 5, its chairman Wolfgang Ischinger expressed hope that it would help Russia and its Western partners reach a “compromise” on the missile defense issue “so that the cooperation with Russia can move forward at the NATO summit in May in Chicago.”
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- rochefortfrancoisOf course.03:36, 03/02/2012It is clear to everyone that the missile shield is aimed at Russia.
- ruypenalvaPutin is right04:45, 03/02/2012Putin is right. That shield aims Russia attack missiles, mainly long range ICMB class missiles. Russia should widespread its power in sea, land, and air, besides having bases in Cuba, Syria and Venezuela and target any neighbor where such "defense" is installed in the 400 km range outside its frontier what include even Germany. Russia should think in putting in orbit weapons able to jam enemies communications network and systems guidance. Special missiles should target enemies military and geopositioning sattelites.
- rochefortfrancoisYes..08:11, 03/02/2012No one trusts NATO today
- mrgenieNot true17:57, 03/02/2012I totally trust NATO to bomb more innocent woman and children off the face of this planet. Also I trust Iran is developing weapons and one day will do what they say:"kill over half a million of Russians" also I trust Russia to kill more innocent woman and children in southern republics, as well as I trust islam terrorists killing more innocent people.
This USA bashing of some people is totally sick, because it means you simply don't get it:"All politics is dirty, even the orders of Mr. Putin to kill tens of tousands of woman and children in southern republics so the elite in Moscow can drive big cars" which is not very far from US politics to kill woman and children to fund US elite to drive big cars. They all do it, they all make money with it, and all of their friends drive big cars by killing innocent people. If you trust Putin not to order killings, your trusting wrong! If you trust america or UK not to kill innocents, you're wrong!
You can trust all of them to order the killing of innocents the moment they make money with it. This USA bashing is simply BS, they're the strongest at the moment, and thus risk the most, but that doesn't make Putin or others better people. Just makes them weaker. If you can't see what politics is:"dirty" no matter who it comes from, then you are naiv!
- melaniemPutin Slams U.S. Missile Shield18:00, 03/02/2012Just because some so-called “hawk” senators happen to make remarks as to the Russian government’s inability to tackle corruption, employ a league of spies to infiltrate American governmental institutions, back a dictator in the Middle East and just espouse general anti-American rhetoric does not mean that the US seeks a war with Russia, nor do they mean to destabilize it. If Vladimir Putin truly believes that the US is aiming to do this, then he is an idiot. Of course, the presidential elections are coming up soon and this could be his strategy. However, such dangerous and hurtful words can only expand and extend tensions between the two countries. If Vladimir Putin thought America was such a threat to Russia, then he would be lobbying the United Nations to take action. Why does he only create tensions with the US when an election is coming up or a major security conference is about to be held? Is he that desperate for attention? Why does he insist upon acting as if these were the days of the Cold War? I truly believe he doesn’t want to be friends or allies with the United States. He wants Russia to be the biggest dog on the block and he wants the United States to be the Big Bad – always. He knows how strong and prestigious the US is and he wants everyone to know that he is willing to go up against America. Instead of worrying about a nonexistent threat, Vladimir Putin should be more concerned about rebuilding his country after the devastating, brutal and failed experiment that was Communism.
- arsanlupinAre we talking about defense? Or attack?21:24, 03/02/2012Wow - echoes of Krushchev banging on his desk with his shoe ...
The statements "It is clear to everyone ... " and "No one trusts NATO" are arrant nonsense to all but a handful of fools who actually DO want Russia to attack USA and/or NATO and/or any other enemy – real or imagined.
The first thing that all seem to either ignore or dismiss is a basic concept of civilization: that everyone is entitled to self-defense; that it is only offensive capabilities and intentions that are threats to world peace. The second is that the missile defense being considered by NATO is incapable of doing anything about an opponent’s ICBM’s … UNTIL THEY ARE ACTUALLY LAUNCHED IN AN ATTACK. Anyone who launches ICBM’s with thermonuclear warheads is hardly in any moral position to complain that attempts to intercept and destroy said ICBM’s are a threat to world peace. Or is all this complaining about missile defense an admission of how uncivilized, self-destructive, and morally bankrupt such attitudes really are?
The poster ruypenalvais especially seems to feel it is Russia's God-given right to threaten the entire planet with thermonuclear destruction. Any attempt to have defensive systems beyond one’s own frontiers anywhere on the planet is in and of itself a threat to Russia’s sacred right to convert enemies real or imagined to radioactive dust – right? Why else talk about installing offensive missiles in such faraway places as Cuba or Venezuela? (We also seem to have forgotten what happened the last time the USSR attempted to install missiles in Cuba … ) His entire post talks of attempting to destroy anything and everything that might enable an opponent to defend themselves. If there is any talk related to Russia’s totally legitimate right to defend itself from attack anywhere in all that ranting, repeated analysis has failed to reveal it.
I can only hope that the intelligence and moral integrity I know to be a basic part of Russian society will rise up and stop this psychotic ranting before it causes any real damage to Russian society. But with such greedy and corrupt thugs as Vladimir Vladimirovich making decisions, my expectations are not high …
- alexk79Not quite23:56, 03/02/2012My good man, regardless of where you stand on the NATO vs Russia/China/etc. issue, your post contains a terrible logical fallacy that undermines your point.
The fact that the missile shield *itself*, strictly speaking, is defensive as opposed to offensive makes no difference whatsoever. If you have two armed people in a duel, each unable to strike since he would be unable to disable the other before he could shoot back, as is the case with the US vs Russia - then party A attempting to disarm party B, or likewise the creation of a 'missile shield' that renders B unable to shoot back effectively, are by definition mortal threats, no less serious than shooting first.
If Russia accepts, or does nothing to stop, the creation of such a missile shield, then they might as well unilaterally get rid of their entire military altogether. Don't you see why Russia would see this as an existential threat? (And I'm not Russian at all, by the way, but from a 'NATO' country.)
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.