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Russia does not start new arms race – deputy defense minister

November 25, 2011, 23:27 UTC+3

“Naturally, Russia will take every step in the deterrence of the U.S. missile defense depending on the particular situation

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MOSCOW, November 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia does not start an arms race with the statement of President Dmitry Medvedev on a possible response to the deployment of the European missile defense, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Friday.

“Naturally, Russia will take every step in the deterrence of the U.S. missile defense depending on the particular situation. If the Russian nuclear deterrence forces are not kept off, there will be no military-technical response,” he said.

It would be wrong to presume that Russia starts an arms race when the president declared the possibility of the Russian secession from the new START Treaty, he said. “That is a one-sided approach,” he noted.

The new START was signed because it highlighted the link between strategic offensive and defensive armaments, the deputy minister noted. “The Americans recognized that link,” he said, stressing that the link will grow in significance along the development of the disarmament process.

Antonov gave an example of two soldiers armed with swords and confronting each other. “If one of the soldiers gets a shield, his power will grow, and the other soldier will need either a bigger sword or a similar shield,” he said.

The statement of President Dmitry Medvedev about possible counter measures sends a timely message to the partners about the need to continue the dialog and the search for mutually acceptable solutions, he said. Antonov led the Russian delegation to the negotiations on the new START signed in April 2010.

“The statement of Dmitry Medvedev is a timely message to our partners. I strongly reject the presumption that this is a confrontational message. All our president wanted to do is to send a message and to offer the partners to intensify the dialog and the search for mutually acceptable solutions [in missile defense],” he said.

The presidential statement was not accidental, Antonov said. “In the past few weeks and months we have been watching the U.S. fulfillment of its plans of the deployment of missile defense in Europe despite the ongoing negotiations,” the deputy minister said. He recalled the soonest end of U.S. missile defense negotiations with Spain, Romania and Poland. “We do not know what may happen next, but we already know about the appearance of U.S. ships in the Black Sea. It is hard to imagine how the situation may develop,” he said.

Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia would respond to the creation of the European missile defense with the enhanced protection of its strategic nuclear forces: strategic ballistic missiles will be equipped with prospective systems of penetration through missile defense and new highly efficient warheads and modern offensive armaments may be deployed in the west and south of the country for the suppression of the European missile defense.

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