Monday, September 21, 2009

Russia's Putin Continues to Set The Rules with Obama

General says Russia favours only joint missile defence

MOSCOW - Russia is opposed to any form of missile defence proposed by the United States which excludes Russian involvement, the country's top general said on Monday.

General Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the general staff of the Russian military, told reporters on a visit to Switzerland that only the creation of a joint missile defence system would be acceptable to Moscow.

"We have a negative attitude to everything that concerns missile defence. Either you create missile defence jointly, or..." said Makarov, according to Russian news agencies, leaving his sentence incomplete.

Then you have this:

RUSSIA'S top general said today that plans to deploy missiles in an enclave next to Poland have not been shelved, despite a decision by the US to rethink plans for missile defence in Europe.

US President Barack Obama's decision to scrap a land-based missile defence system has been welcomed by Russia, whose leaders threatened to deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad if the US refused to drop the plans.

The Kremlin always said Russia would only deploy the missiles as a counter-measure if Washington went ahead with its missile shield.

Moscow said the shield threatened its national security and would upset the strategic balance in Europe.

On Saturday Russian deputy defence minister Vladimir Popovkin said in an interview that "naturally we will scrap the measures that Russia planned to take" in response to the shield and specifically named Iskander deployment as one of them.

When asked about the matter today, the chief of Russia's general staff, Nikolai Makarov, said: "There has been no such decision. It should be a political decision. It should be made by the President."

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