NEW YORK, June 14. /TASS/. Moscow will give an "adequate response" to US attempts to deploy missile defense elements near its borders, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in the second part of The Putin Interviews documentary, aired by Showtime.
"We will keep this strategic balance. Balance is a very important thing," he said.
The Russian president said that US missile defense facilities, currently being deployed in the Mediterranean Sea, in Eastern Europe and other regions can be transformed into strike facilities "in minutes, maybe in a few hours."
"Practically the entire territory of Russia will be surrounded by these systems," Putin said. "In fact, this is another great strategic mistake by our partners. Because Russia will give an adequate response to all these actions."
"At the same time, our response will be a lot cheaper," he has stressed.
Putin said Russia was forced to develop its missile strike capabilities to maintain the strategic balance of forces after the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002.
"We proposed to jointly engage in a missile shield project of the United States, Russia and Europe," Putin said. "Regretfully, our partners eventually rejected this proposal."
"But in order to keep this important element of international stability, namely to keep the strategic balance of forces, we will be forced to develop our missile strike capabilities and missile systems capable of penetrating any missile shield," the Russian leader said.