Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Russia warns west of new Cold War

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

Source: Press TV

Russia has warned the West of another Cold War if it fails to acknowledge the country's concerns regarding a planned missile system based in Europe.

On Wednesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that his country would take “retaliatory measures” if the United States would continue with the construction of the so-called missile defense system, AFP reported.

“We [Russia] would then be talking about developing the offensive potential of our nuclear capabilities; this would be a very bad scenario. It would be a scenario that throws us back into the Cold War era,” the Russian president said during a press conference.

Medvedev warned of an early pull out from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), if the deployment of the missile shield would go forward in the absence of Russia.

Moscow's primary concern is that the missile system would be used against Russia rather than countering incoming missiles, as claimed by the US.

"We would like to see missile defense develop under clear rules," said Medvedev.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of NATO missile facilities, calling it, a security threat.

Despite asking Russia to express its concerns regarding the missile shield at the meeting, NATO has denied Russia's formal role in the operation of the missile plans.

Even though Russia considers the US missile plans as a potential threat to its security, it has agreed to consider NATO's proposal to cooperate on the missile shield but insists that the system should be run jointly. NATO has rejected the Russian proposal.

The START has helped improve relations between Moscow and Washington, but Russia continues to view US missile plans with suspicion.

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