This is a discussion on Missile defence in Europe not threatening to Russia: US within the Product And Services forums, part of the Miscellaneous category; US plans to install missile defence systems in Eastern Europe should not be viewed as threatening to Russia but instead ...
US plans to install missile defence systems in Eastern Europe should not be viewed as threatening to Russia but instead aim to protect the continent against missile threats from the Middle East, said the US state department.
"The system that's being put in place is designed to counter threats from the Middle East or from other potential rogue states out there," state department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said Tuesday.
"This system is not physically capable of threatening Russia, or threatening any other country for that matter. It's for defensive purposes," he added.
The US, Poland and the Czech Republic are reportedly close to an agreement to install missile defence systems on their soil. Interceptor missiles would be based in Poland while a radar and tracking centre would be built on Czech soil.
Russia has increasingly complained about the enlargement of NATO toward Russian borders. A Russian general said Monday that Russian missiles are capable of taking out missile defence targets in Eastern Europe.
"New armaments capable of overwhelming missile defence may be designed quickly," said Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov, the head of Russian strategic forces, according to Interfax.
The US state department doubted Solovtsov's view represented the Russian government and called it "a bit puzzling".
"We do think it's a little hard to believe, again, that he's speaking on behalf of the Russian government," Casey said.
Casey also responded to German criticism that the US has not been adequately consulting the Russians on missile defence plans. Casey said senior US officials have met frequently with the Russians since 2004 to discuss the plans and that 10 meetings have taken place since March.
"There also seems to be some notion out there that we haven't consulted with the Russian government about this, but the fact is that we have consulted repeatedly and at some length over the past several years... " Casey said. "We want this to be transparent as we move forward with it."
German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier in remarks published in Handelsblatt Monday said the US should have more dialogue on the issue with Moscow.
"Since the deployment sites are being moved closer to Russia, one ought to have spoken with Russia about it sooner," he said.