Russia threatens Nato with military strikes over missile defence

Russia threatens Nato with military strikes over missile defence

General Nikolai Makarov, Russia's most senior military commander, warned Nato that if it proceeded with a controversial American missile defence system, force would be used against it.

"A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens," he said.

Gen Makarov has threatened to target Nato bases hosting an anti-missile system designed by the US to protect European allies against attack from states such as Iran.

He said that Russia would counter Nato deployment by stationing short-range Iskander missiles in the Russian Kaliningrad exclave near Poland, creating the worst military tensions since the Cold War.

"The deployment of new strike weapons in Russia's south and northwest – including of Iskander systems in Kaliningrad – is one of our possible options for destroying the system's European infrastructure," he said.

John McCain, the US senator on a visit to Lithuania, attacked Russia's plans in Kaliningrad as an "excuse to have a military build-up in this part of the world".

"It is really an egregious example of what might be even viewed as paranoia on the part of Vladimir Putin," he said.

The chief of the Russian general staff has drawn up a detailed analysis, presented to the Alliance, that claims to show the Nato system could eliminate Russian missiles by the end of the decade.

"A thorough analysis showed that once the third and fourth stages are deployed, the capability to intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles will be real," he said.

The missile defence row with Russia has dogged relations between Moscow and Washington for a decade and has now threatened to derail President Barack Obama's 2009 overture to "reset" diplomatic ties.

Anatoly Serdyukov, the Russian defence minister, warned on Thursday that Russia-Nato negotiations on the anti-missile system had reached an impasse.

"We have not been able to find mutually-acceptable solutions at this point and the situation is practically at a dead end," he said.

Russia's threat to militarise the dispute came as a special American and Nato team began Moscow talks ahead of next month's official deployment of the first elements of the new missile shield.

Alexander Vershbow, Nato's deputy secretary general, tried to reassure Russia that the new system was not even able to target Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, even if the Alliance wanted to.

"Our Nato system is neither designed against, nor directed at Russia," he said.

"[Gen. Makarov's] briefings are based on the false assumption that the Nato system can launch before the burnout of an attacking ballistic missile, which is simply not the case."

Russia is vehemently opposed to the Nato and American defence system billed as defending European Alliance members in Eastern Europe from potential nuclear threats from Iran or North Korea.

Gen Makarov's hard line has raised concerns that it could herald a hardening of attitudes, or even a new Cold War, in the Russian presidential transition from Dmitry Medvedev back to Vladimir Putin, a military hawk and former KGB spy.

Mr Putin will be sworn in for a third term as Russian president on Monday and yesterday's talks in Moscow were aimed at trying to soothe tensions. The incoming Russian leader has already decided against attending Nato Chicago summit in two weeks as protest the shield's formal deployment.

"The developments are not positive," said a Western diplomat. "At best the comments are a negotiating stance, at worst it is a sign of a hardening line in Russia."



Well it's not the Bay of Pigs.. but tensions are getting ridiculously high.. sad.

That is what happens when retarded adolescents with big guns have a dick measuring contest. The world's militaries are run by a bunch of dickheads with the IQ of slugs.
Both countries are broke... the only winner if they go to war will be China, and they don't even have to fight..
Bar Sinister
#4  Top Rated Post
What we're seeing here is a repeat of what happened in France in the second half of the 20th Century. France was unable to come to grips with the fact that following World War Ii it was no longer a real factor in world events. Only two countries really mattered the USA and the USSR, but the French government took decades for that basic truth to sink in. Currently Russia is in a similar position. The fact is that in spite of its nuclear arsenal and vast resources, Russia's has a declining birthrate, a government riddled with corruption, and an economic growth rate that is too low to keep up with either the USA or China. This state of affairs is not likely to change, but Putin and his friends in the Russian mafia haven't figured that out yet and so they continue to bluster and act as if anyone really cares much about what they say or do.