MOSCOW, March 18 (Itar-Tass) – Russia sees no grounds for correcting its stance on missile defense after the US announced it was ready to abandon the final phase of its European missile defense system, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily on Monday.
“This is not a concession to Russia, and we don’t see it as such,” he stressed.
It was announced last Friday that the United States abandons the final phase of its European missile defense system. At the same time, it has made a decision to deploy 14 additional Ground-Based Interceptors (GBIs) in Alaska, deploy an additional radar in Japan and conduct studies on construction of the third site of silo-based interceptors in the United States.
“I don’t see any connection between Russia’s objections against the deployment of US missile defense system in Europe and what was announced by the US defense secretary,” Ryabkov said.”All aspects of strategic uncertainty connected with the creation of a missile defense system by the United States and NATO remain. Our objections stay in place accordantly,” he added.
According to the top Russian diplomat, elements of US missile defense system planned for the deployment in Europe within the framework of the first three phases are highly mobile. “They will be deployed on ships that can move from one water zone to another within several days. Ground based systems will be also mobile,” he explained.
Ryabkov stressed that “plans to deploy additional GBIs in Alaska and California are not a symbolic gesture,” as this means “a considerably increase in US missile defense capability”.
“We feel no euphoria in connection with what was announced by the US defense secretary. And we see no grounds for correcting our position,” he summed up. “We will continue a dialogue and seek the signing of legally binding agreements stating that all elements of US missile defense system are not directed against Russian strategic nuclear forces,” he added.