BERLIN, November 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Deployment of Patriot missile systems at the Turkish-Syrian border would rather create more problems than solve any, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov told a news conference here after the opening of a two-day international congress on European security and defence known as the Berlin Security Conference.
“We don’t like this idea because we see hidden threats in it,” Denisov noted. “If these hidden threats are smoothed over or if our partners provide clear explanations of the real meaning of the decision to deploy these missiles, it will contribute to peace efforts.”
“From the technical point of view and in terms of maintenance,” the Patriot system is a “complex system,” whose personnel “undergoes long training and can boast high professional skills,” he noted. “It is a serious weapon and it must be targeted against serious challenges. That is why we have such questions as what kind of challenges it is aimed at and who threatens who and from where?”
“All the answers we have been receiving are reduced to soothing statements,” the Russian diplomat went on. “But as far as military political problems are concerned, we want clear and exhaustive explanations: where [a threat comes from], for what purposes, for what term and why.” According to Denisov, the deployment of Patriot missile systems along the border with Syria might stem from plans to establish the so-called no-fly zones, which have not been made available to Moscow. “It might well be wrong, but as long as we know nothing we need more information,” he stressed. “If it implies restrictive measures against Syria, such measures must be sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council.”
“To put it short, we believe that the decision [to deploy missiles] is creating more problems than it might solve,” he said. “This is why Moscow showed restrained attitude towards this idea.”
Christian Schmidt, Parliamentary State Secretary to Germany’s Federal Minister of Defence, agreed that all Syria-related issues are within the competences of the United Nations Security Council, while the issue of the deployment of Patriot missile systems is a measure that follows the principle of indivisible security on NATO territory. This measure, in his words, excludes any no-fly zones in Syria.
The Congress on European Security and Defence, or the Berlin Security Conference, was organized by the German publication Beh·rden Spiegel. It was first held in 2001. This year, it has drawn numerous politicians, diplomats, experts in international relations and defence from 60 countries. Russia is present in the status of a partner country.