Azara Blog: Putin says Russia may target missiles at Europe if US Star Wars goes ahead

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Date published: 2007/06/03

The BBC says:

Moscow may target weapons at Europe if the US builds planned missile defence facilities in the region, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

Russia has not pointed missiles towards Europe since the end of the Cold War.

Last week, Russia said it had tested a ballistic missile to maintain "strategic balance" in the world.

The US wants to expand its missile defences into Eastern Europe. It says the system is not aimed at Russia but Moscow says its security is threatened.
...
[ Putin ] repeated warnings that the US defence shield could lead to a new arms race but said it would the fault of the Americans if this happened.

He said the US had "altered the strategic balance" by unilaterally pulling out of the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) treaty in 2002.

"If the American nuclear potential grows in European territory, we have to give ourselves new targets in Europe," Mr Putin said.

"It is up to our military to define these targets, in addition to defining the choice between ballistic and cruise missiles."

Putin is an anti-democrat, but on this issue he is making perfectly good sense. The intended US Star Wars program is a prima facie threat to Russia, and Russia is perfectly within reason to treat as enemies those parts of Europe which choose to play the game with America.

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