White House defends missile defense after Russian warning

WASHINGTON Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:01pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday that U.S. and NATO plans to deploy a European missile shield by 2020 remain on track, after Russian warned it would arm itself with missiles able to defeat the shield.

"In multiple channels, we have explained to Russian officials that the missile defense systems planned for deployment in Europe do not and cannot threaten Russia's strategic deterrent," said White House national security council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

"Its implementation is going well and we see no basis for threats to withdraw from it," he said, adding "We will not in any way limit or change our deployment plans in Europe."

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday in Moscow that Russia would ramp up its early-warning radar to protect its nuclear missile sites, deploy weapons that could overcome a shield, and potentially target missile defense installations to its south and west.

Washington said Moscow had no reason to worry.

"The United States has been open and transparent with Russia on our plans for missile defense in Europe, which reflect a growing threat to our allies from Iran that we are committed to deterring," Vietor said in a statement.

"We continue to believe that cooperation with Russia on missile defense can enhance the security of the United States, our allies in Europe, and Russia, and we will continue to work with Russia to define the parameters of possible cooperation."

(Reporting by Alister Bull; editing by Philip Barbara)

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Comments (6)
tiktin wrote:
All missiles are capable of “foiling the U.S. missile shield”.

Nov 23, 2011 11:49am EST  --  Report as abuse
Swiftright wrote:
NATO really should have worked harder to bring the Russians on board with this. At the very least we should have engaged in secret high level negotiations with them and tossed them a bone like how many missiles they would need to overcome it.
While that seems like a horrible idea you have to realizes that they Are going to maintain their deterrent. Its better that they move 10-16 missiles up to maintain that then deploy 200-300 new missiles to overwhelm a system they dont know anything about.

Even worse then the Russians deploying new missiles though is going to be that they are going to want to sell the tech they develop which means eventually Iran and N Korea will have access to it.

Nov 23, 2011 12:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Otus wrote:
Come on, if it is “not against Russia” why the US is not giving a legal guarantee to confirm that&

Let’s face the reality: the US went nuts and are building a multi-layer global missile defence system consisting not only of a few items to be placed in Europe but of a number of ships, planes, radars, etc., to be placed in all locations around Russia and China (including in Arctic where there they can hardly be of use for shooting down the non-existent Iranian missles).

This system is of no threat for the Russian missles NOW – but guys, do you really think that Russia is going to sit and wait when it becomes?

Same about China, I would assume.

Nov 24, 2011 4:54am EST  --  Report as abuse
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