U.S. plans to deploy missile defense elements in Poland could pose an additional obstacle to substantive international cooperation, Russia's ambassador to NATO told Interfax on Friday (see GSN, March 4).
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently reaffirmed the Obama administration's plan to field missile interceptors and station Air Force personnel in Poland.
"This statement will not be left without Russia's most close attention," Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin said.
"The Americans are persistently pushing their plans, even despite the fact that they contradict the obligations assumed by them earlier and (may complicate) any serious agreements in the future," he said (Interfax I, March 4).
A Russian General Staff insider, though, said on Saturday the proposed missile defenses would pose no threat to Russia's nuclear deterrent.
U.S. Standard Missile 3 Block 2-A interceptors "are capable of intercepting medium- and shorter-range missiles which Russia does not have. Such missiles (in Russia) were disposed of under the agreement Moscow and Washington signed in 1987," the source said.
"It would be unnecessary to take any countermeasures so far. The theme should be discussed at the European missile defense negotiations with NATO and the United States. If Russia is kept off (from the decision-making process), it may have to react," the insider added (Interfax II).
Meanwhile, the first U.S. warship departed for the Mediterranean Sea on Monday as part of President Obama's "phased adaptive approach" for European missile defense, the Associated Press reported (see GSN, March 2; Brock Vergakis, Associated Press/Google News, March 7).