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Duma says no hurry to give up Russia-US reset over missile defence row

November 24, 2011, 6:31 UTC+3

The absence of results is direct proof that “there is no cooperation as such”

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MOSCOW, November 24 (Itar-Tass) —— The State Duma cautioned against “burying” Russian-U.S. reset over the missile defence disagreements, but said President Dmitry Medvedev’s statement on the issue was a legitimate result of the deadlocked talks with the United States and NATO on missile defence.

Medvedev said in a televised address on November 23 that Russia would take strong measures, such as enhancement of its strategic capabilities and deployment of attack systems, in response to further implementation of U.S. plans to create missile defence in Europe.

He said Russia would reserve the right to give up further disarmament and arms control measures and might withdraw from the START Treaty.

Medvedev stressed that if other measures prove insufficient, Russia would deploy modern attack systems in the west and south of the country which will be able to destroy the U.S. missile defence elements in Europe. He mentioned in particular Iskander systems in the Kaliningrad region.

“Dmitry Medvedev’s statement is a legitimate result of the deadlocked talks on missile defence,” First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democratic Party said.

In his opinion, the absence of results is direct proof that “there is no cooperation as such”, and yet he thinks “it is too early to say that reset has come to a complete stop”.

“There will be no return to the Cold War,” State Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Deputy Chairman Leonid Kalashnikov echoed him.

However he admitted that he was “pleased” by Medvedev’s statement because “it is no longer possible to talk to the U.S. in the language of concessions”.

“Otherwise they will simply crush us,” he added.

When asked about the consequences of Russia’s possible withdrawal from the START Treaty, Mikhail Nenashev of United Russia, who is a member of the State Duma Defence Committee, said this would be an undesired scenario for all sides, including for global security.

If the American actions force Russia to pull out of the START Treaty, this will only “spur arms race and the development of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in other countries”, he said.

“Adverse effects will be felt by the whole world,” Nenashev added.


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