TATISHCHEVO, February 21 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia will implement all of the earlier declared measures of resistance to the European-US missile defense if it is not offered a joint pattern of work, or if the American plans are canceled, President Medvedev said on Tuesday.
“This does not mean the beginning of confrontation. This means only one thing. We cannot stay indifferent to these plans, because this concerns our strategic interests. For that reason I had to say what I said,” Medvedev stated at a meeting with the commanders of missile force regiments, when asked if the harsh statement regarding the US missile defense, contained in his message to the Federal Assembly, spelled the beginning of a confrontation with the West.
Medvedev said the reaction to that statement was varied. Some found the statement too harsh, and others attributed it to the election campaign.
“It was not harsh at all. It merely listed the real circumstances that forced me as the commander-in-chief to take the corresponding decisions and the reciprocal measures that will be implemented. They are in the implementation phase. You know them pretty well. And they will be taken to a logical outcome, just as the figure that the strategic missile force commander mentioned, concerning the 100-percent re-armament of the strategic missile force by 2020. The target will be met. You can have no doubts about that. The full payments have been made for everything to be supplied to the armed forces,” Medvedev said. “As for the counter-measures against the so-called US-European missile defense system, we shall take every step in the direction I have identified. Except for one case. If our partners either give up this plan, or propose some other pattern of participation in joint research into missile defense issues.”