MOSCOW, December 7 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia does not need an arms race, but it is being pushed towards it, the chief of the General Staff, General of the Army Nikolai Makarov, said at the annual traditional meeting with foreign military attaches, accredited in Moscow.
Makarov recalled that at the Lisbon summit of NATO the Russian president declared Russia’s readiness to participate in creating a missile defense system in Europe.
“He then urged the so-called sectoral approach, which was rejected,” Makarov recalled.
“We suggested a different option – if NATO countries wish to defend themselves on their own, that second option would provide for the placement of attack air defense weapons in a way that would leave Russia outside their range,” Makarov said. “Respectively, the radius of Russia’s air defense weapons would not extend beyond Russia’s territory. That proposal did not fit, either,” Makarov stated.
“We shall be prepared for other ideas, but nothing is proposed to us,” he said. “We hear nothing but empty promises to the effect the missile defense in Europe will be fraught with no risks for the strategic nuclear forces of Russia.”
“A number of scientists in the United States and Europe have made practical calculations to prove that the air defense elements in Europe already influence the Russian nuclear potential,” Makarov said.
“The creation of a missile defense system in Europe might complicate our relations,” Makarov warned. “The Russian president, the defense minister and yours truly - the chief of the General Staff - have talked to our counterparts in most European countries. Many of them told us that the question is to be settled with the United States, but the point at issue is Europe, isn’t it? Why is a wedge being driven between Russia and Europe? Who needs this? We are prepared to cooperate, to build a missile defense together. Why don’t they meet us half-way? Somebody surely stands to gain from this.”