will russia take out nato missiles staged in poland?
DrMarty | May 12, 2012 at 05:23 amby
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Russian Minister of Defense Anatoli Serdyukov today made an explicit warning about the consequences of the planned U.S.-NATO anti-missile system in Europe, the official news agency Itar-Tass reported.
Undercutting those who don't want to take seriously Chief of the General Staff Gen. Nikolai Makarov's warning that "a decision on the preemptive use of available offensive weapons [against the anti-missile installations] will be taken during the period of an escalating situation," the civilian Serdyukov said the same thing in even blunter terms:
"At the conference on ballistic missile defense (BMD), we once again drew attention to the fact that the EuroBMD deployment causes us certain concerns; we shall destroy the anti-missile defenses accordingly," Itar-Tass quoted Serdyukov. He named Russia's Iskander missile as capable of doing this:
"The Iskander can handle neutralization of systems that could hinder our missiles," he said, referring to the BMD threat to Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, fired in a retaliatory "second strike" under a scenario of a U.S. nuclear missile first strike against Russia.
The 9K720 Iskander is a truck-mobile, nuclear-capable tactical missile with a range of up to 400 km. NATO calls it the SS-26. It is a successor to the Oka missile (SS-23), which was taken out of service and destroyed under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force treaty of 1987; and, ultimately, of the famous Soviet Scud-B missile (Russian name: Elbrus R-300).
In his televised national address of November 23, 2011, then-President Dmitri Medvedev warned that Russia would station Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, if the USA and NATO proceeded with the BMD program in Poland.
Asked his view of the May 3-4 Moscow conference on BMD, and of some remarks by State Department spokesman Philip Gordon on seeking a compromise with Russia on BMD issues, Serdyukov said that the Russian side awaits specific proposals from the Americans.
"We shall wait for what they offer. If they offer legally binding guarantees, we are prepared to look at the matter differently. Hithertoo we have received only verbal promises. So far, at the conference it was said that they were prepared to work on some kind of proposals."
The U.S. delegation at the Moscow conference was led by the State Department Special Envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense Ellen Tauscher and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Security Affairs Madelyn Creedon.
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