The U.S. is developing the fourth stage of global missile defence for retargeting the system to the Far East, said Viktor Kremenyuk, deputy director of the Institute for the USA and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“Americans are planning their actions irrespective of anything Moscow says or does. They ignore this fact. Moscow can laud or can ignore, or can say yes. But this is done not for Moscow. This is done because the United States decided to specify its strategic priorities and reorient them to the Far East, for example,” Kremenyuk told Itar-Tass on Monday.
“This is the U.S. matter. The American administration voices concern about any real threat to be posed to allies or the U.S. itself,” the Russian expert said.
“As for Europe, Iran was always one of the arguments. But anything [with Iran] has moved and Washington is starting preliminary contacts that can convince Tehran to assume obligations – to create nuclear arms or not but in order not to pose threats to Americans,” Kremenyuk said. (Itar Tass)
US Counter Missiles in Europe
by Andrey Fedyashin
Russia sees the US’s decision to cancel the fourth stage of its anti-missile system in Europe (the so-called European Phased Adaptive Approach) as a technical delay and not as a principal decision. Once the US financial situation improves and counter missiles are technically perfect, this “break” will be over and the US counter-missiles will be deployed in Europe.
On March 15, the US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the US had decided to freeze the deployment of its interceptors in Poland. Instead it plans to deploy 14 heavy counter-missiles in Alaska and to set one more radar station in Japan by 2017. Washington is also working on the deployment of silo based counter missiles in the East of the US.
In an interview with the Kommesant daily Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said that Moscow did not consider Washington’s decision to cancel the fourth stage of its anti-missile system in Europe as a concession and does not see any principle changes in the US position in ABM. Most Russian experts agree with him. If such an approach meant that the US gave up its plans Moscow would welcome it. But this is out of the question, Pavel Zolotarev Deputy head of Russia’s Institute of the US and Canada, says.
“This approach does not mean that the US gave up the idea of deploying counter-missiles in Poland. That is why we should not overestimate Washington’s decision. Currently the US is experiencing economic problems. Washington’s European Phased Adaptive Approach implies that interceptors will be deployed once the Iranian threat emerges. So there are no serious changes in the position.”
Moscow thinks that the US has to adjust its plans on ABM in Europe due to the reduction of the Pentagon’s budget by $45 billion. Also the systems the US wanted to deploy in Europe are yet to be improved, Vladimir Yevseev, head of the center of political studies, says.
“As soon as financial problems are solved and the systems are technically perfect the US will get down to the implementation of the plans it announced earlier. Now it concerns only a delay in implementation which does not provide the guarantees Russia is insisting on. Russia considers it a postponement and if so – why should Russia make any concessions to the US?”
Sergey Ryabkov and Deputy State Secretary Rose Gottemoeller are to meet on Monday or on Tuesday in Geneva. It is very likely that they will touch upon this issue. In the current situation we should not expect any new breakthrough in disarmament, Yevseev says.
“Russia’s position is the following – In 2010 Russia and the US signed a new strategic arms reduction treaty in Prague and it is necessary first of all to implement it. Since the moment the agreement was signed it will take 7 years to implement it. Why should we sign a new treaty now?”
Moscow is ready to continue the dialogue on disarmament with the US but it will also continue to insist on signing judicial binding agreements which guarantee that the US anti-missile system is not targeted against Russian strategic nuclear forces.