Russia Eyes Regional Ties to Help Counter U.S. Antimissile Systems

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said his government intends to enhance its collaboration with the Central Asian military alliance it founded after the fall of the Soviet Union as a means of countering U.S. antimissile activities in Europe, Interfax reported on Tuesday.

"The international situation has a significant effect on the condition of our common defense space," Serdyukov stated. "First and foremost, I mean the deployment of U.S. missile defense in Europe in disregard of our interests."

"We view [the Collective Security Treaty Organization] as an efficient mechanism of response to common threats," Serdyukov said.

The CSTO group comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

Moscow is concerned that an evolving U.S.-NATO missile shield in Europe will seriously threaten continental nuclear stability. It opposes a U.S. plan to through 2020 field increasingly capable sea- and land-based missile interceptors. Though Washington insists the interceptors would be focused on defeating a possible ballistic missile strike from the Middle East, the Kremlin suspects the defensive system could secretly target its strategic missile forces.

Serdyukov highlighted armed forces ties with Belarus. "The harmonized military policy, the joint use of military infrastructure and coordinated development of the armed forces are priorities of the interaction between our defense departments," the minister said during a joint meeting with top Belarusian military officials.

October 24, 2012
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Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said his government intends to enhance its collaboration with the Central Asian military alliance it founded after the fall of the Soviet Union as a means of countering U.S. antimissile activities in Europe, Interfax reported on Tuesday.