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Putin: NATO’s missile shield complex activation in Romania complicates global situation

May 13, 2016, 16:11 UTC+3

According to the president, deployment of US missile defense system in Europe is not protection but nuclear potential buildup, and Russia has to think of rsteps to take

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

SOCHI, May 13. /TASS/. The deployment of a radar system in Romania complicates the international situation around Russia, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with military commanders on Friday.

"The latest developments suggest that the situation is not changing for the better. Unfortunately, it is being aggravated, considering the deployment of a radar station in Romania as an element of the US missile defense shield system," Putin said.

Russia has numerously voiced its concerns over the deployment of NATO’s missile shield and offered cooperation with US partners, which was actually rejected, Putin said.

"We have spoken a lot about our concerns, proposed cooperation and joint work with American partners. All this was rejected, as a matter of fact," Putin said at a meeting on the development of Russia’s defense industry. He expressed regret that Washington offered no concrete work on this issue.

An official ceremony was held at Deveselu in Romania on Thursday to make operational the ground-based missile shield complex Aegis. The site on an area of 175 hectares comprises a radar station, the missile shield batteries’ operational control center and mobile batteries MK-41 with SM-3 (Standard-3) interceptor missiles.

Russia to take steps to reduce national security threats

Putin stressed that Russia has to think of reducing national security threats posed by deployment of the NATO missile defense system in Europe.

‘Now that the elements of the [NATO] missile defense system have been deployed [in Europe], we will have to think of how to reduce the threats arising for Russia’s national security," the head of state noted.

"We are not going to be dragged into this race but we will follow our own path and will work extremely carefully in order not to exceed our plans to finance the retooling of our army and fleet, which we drafted a few years ago. However, we are going to adjust these plans to reduce threats to Russia’s national security," he added.

Absence of Iranian nuclear threat

The Russian president has also pointed out that the creation of the NATO missile defense system continues despite the absence of Iran’s nuclear threat.

"Let’s remember that just a few years ago all our opponents were saying in one voice that our partners in the West, in Europe and in the United States needed the missile defense system to avert the missile and nuclear threats from Iran. Where are these nuclear threats from Iran now? They are absent. But the creation of the missile defense system continues," the president said.

"If by using their capabilities in world media they are still able to mislead someone into believing that it does not threaten Russia or that it is only a system of defense, no one present at this table, at this session will be misled by them. Nothing like this, this is not a defensive system, this is a part of US strategic nuclear potential taken to the periphery," Putin said adding that by periphery he means Eastern Europe.

Putin said that the United States itself signed an agreement with Iran as one of its initiators. "Indeed, they did everything right; we supported this position of the US administration," Putin said.

US creating conditions for breaching INF Treaty

According to Putin, the United States is creating conditions for breaching the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (the INF), which causes concern.

"This [the deployment of the missile shield system in Europe] is an additional threat for us," Putin said.

"After the US unilateral withdrawal from the anti-ballistic missile treaty, which was clearly the first step towards the attempts to disrupt the strategic balance of forces in the world, this will be the second blow against the system of international security, i.e. the creation of conditions for breaching the INF Treaty," the Russian president said.

"This causes our additional concerns," Putin said.

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