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Russian general: US needs missile shield for military supremacy over Russia, China

October 11, 11:37 UTC+3
According to the Russian General Staff, US missile defense systems can be used as attack weapons
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© AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski

BEIJING, October 11. /TASS/. The United States is creating a global missile shield system to neutralize the nuclear potentials of Russia and China and achieve military supremacy over them, First Deputy Head of the Main Operations Department at the Russian General Staff Viktor Poznikhir said on Tuesday.

"The US decision to create a global echeloned missile shield system is not linked with a response to missile threats from Iran and North Korea. It is conditioned primarily by the desire to achieve military supremacy over Russia and China," the general said at the Xiangshan security forum in Beijing.

In actual fact, the US missile shield is aimed at "reducing the potential of the Russian strategic nuclear forces and, with regard to the Chinese missile and nuclear potential, getting a possibility to zero it out," the general said.

A missile defense system possessing not only the anti-ballistic missile but also the anti-satellite and strike potentials is a means of strategic dominance, he added.

"The basis task of its regional components is to serve as a forward frontier of blocking strategic nuclear forces and the space grouping of Russia and China," the general said.

The US aggregate anti-ballistic missile potential is inadequate to the threats stated by Washington. In particular, North Korea only demonstrates the possibilities for creating ballistic threats and there can be no talk about a missile threat from Iran after the accords on the Iranian nuclear program, the Russian general said.

Meanwhile, according to data of the Russian General Staff, by 2020 the US missile shield will comprise about 50 Ground-Based Interceptors, over 200 THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) anti-ballistic missiles and around 700 SM-3 ground-and ship-based missile systems. Over 40 warships with ABM systems will be operational in various parts of the World Ocean, including the seas washing the coasts of Russia and China, Poznikhir said.

"The warships and bases of the missile shield of the United States and its allies are literally encircling Russia and China. Even proceeding from the calculation that several anti-ballistic missiles will be aimed at one target, it turns out that the talk is about the potential ability of the ABM system to intercept hundreds of missiles. Therefore, counteraction to the North Korean and Iranian missile threats is used as a pretext to deploy a system primarily designated to fight Russian and Chinese missiles," the general said.

Response measures

Poznikhir has also noted that Russia and China were taking "adequate response measures" to preserve balance of strategic weapons.

"Russia is forced to take adequate response measures in order to prevent the US and its allies from influencing the existing balance of forces in the sphere of strategic weapons. As far as we understand, our Chinese partners are acting in the same way," Poznikhir said at the Xiangshan security forum in China.

Russian and US military experts have analyzed combat capabilities of the US global missile defense system and established that this system "significantly changes the balance of forces in the sphere of offensive weapons as it allows more effective planning of a disarming missile strike," Poznikhir said.

However, he did not specify what response measures Russia and China are taking.

Infographics US missile defense system and NATO European Missile Defense System US missile defense system and NATO European Missile Defense System

The US has announced plans to reject the deployment of the fourth stage of the missile defense system in Europe and to refocus towards protection against potential North Korea missile attacks. Infographics by TASS

In 2002, the United States withdrew from the landmark 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and later started work to build a national missile defense shield.

The official concluded that US claims to the effect its global missile defense is not directed against Russia are groundless and not confirmed by any treaties.

He said that in response to all of Russia’s concerns over the development of the missile defense system the United States made "groundless statements the emerging missile defense system was not targeted against Russia and China."

"Our proposals for concluding the corresponding international agreements that would lift Russia’s concerns over the creation of the US missile defense have not been accepted by the American side," Poznikhir said.

"Despite the agreements achieved with Iran over its nuclear program the deployment of the European segment of the missile defense is proceeding in accordance with the original plan. Surely, such actions by no means promote trust towards US statements Russian and Chinese satellites are not regarded as likely targets for the emerging missile defense system," Poznikhir said.

US missile defense used as attack weapon

The general has also pointed out that US missile defense systems could be used as attack weapons.

He pointed out that one of the tasks of the US missile defense is "to latently create a powerful attack component capable of delivering a disarming and decapitation strike against our countries."

He explained that the devices that allegedly make it impossible to arm the ground-based system with cruise missiles are easily dismantled and the software can be reloaded.

"The MK-41 launchers at bases in Europe and on board naval ships can be rearmed with Tomahawk cruise missiles promptly and stealthily," he pointed out.

"The bases in Romania and Poland are equipped precisely with this type of launchers. The US arguments to the effect its ground-based configuration is unable to launch cruise missiles by virtue of their design and software algorithm restrictions are not very convincing, to put it mildly," Poznikhir told the forum.

The Tomahawk, with its range of 2,500 kilometers, can hit targets in any part of Russia west of the Ural mountains, Poznikhir said.

The United States’ decision to use shipborne cruise missile systems on the ground is a violation of the Intermediate Nuclear Force treaty, which outlaws the deployment of ground complexes armed with cruise missiles with ranges exceeding 500 kilometers, Poznikhir recalled.

The official also said the US was developing hypersonic strike missiles for its launchers of the global anti-ballistic missile defense system.

"We also know about works under way in the United States on using Mk41 launchers for deploying hypersonic armaments. This means quite a different flying time to the target, reduced by several times, and a considerably larger threat to Russia’s security," he said.

Nuclear strikes worldwide

According to the Russian military official, the US hopes that the missile shield will give it an opportunity to deliver nuclear strikes worldwide.

"Russia’s military experts say that the US hopes to get a chance due to possessing it (missile defense system) to deliver a surprise missile-nuclear strike in any region of the world, including Russia and China, with no punishment," said Poznikhir.

The general explained that the means created as part of the Prompt Global Strike concept will allow carrying out disarming strikes on the nuclear forces. The missiles of the attacked party launched towards the US in response are to be destroyed by a multilayer missile defense system.

"The hope for such development of events is a dangerous illusion," he said.

Destroying satellites

The official believes the US plans to use its global missile shield to expand its capabilities for destroying hostile satellites in orbit.

According to him, one of the goals of the US missile defense system is to "enhance the capabilities to destroy the artificial Earth satellites in low orbits."

"The anti-satellite capability of the missile defense system is one of the reasons why the US is unwilling to accept any agreement banning the deployment of weapons in Earth's orbit," Poznikhir said.

Russia ready to resume contacts with US, NATO on missile defense

Poznikhir however pointed out that Moscow was prepared to restore contacts on the missile defense issue both with the US and NATO.

"The Russian side is ready for resuming contacts on the missile defense issue both in a bilateral Russia-US format and in a multilateral Russia-NATO format on condition that the goal will be reaching agreements that take into account the interests of each side to the fullest extent," he said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry invites any party concerned for cooperation on the issue if "its aim is to make the world a little bit clearer of mutual misunderstanding and threats," he added.

The effort to conclude a new deal on missile defense today is much more challenging than several years ago, the official said. "Unfortunately, the US side sought to use the previous attempts to hold dialogue on missile defense, as we understand now, only as a cover. The partners were shown that there was the readiness to discuss with Russia the most acute issues, while simultaneously the plans of creating a missile shield were fulfilled."

"One should at least respect partners at talks rather than treat them as whipping boys," the official said.

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