Russia calls US missile shield ‘dead cat’August 16th, 2008 - 12:41 pm ICT by IANS
Brussels, Aug 16 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s envoy to NATO has compared the US missile defence system to “a dead cat”, since its effectiveness can only be verified as a result of reciprocal thermonuclear missile strikes. “The Europeans have received a ‘dead cat’ from the Americans,” Dmitry Rogozin said, commenting on the US-Polish missile-defence deal signed Thursday.
“If the threat really comes from Iran, as the US says, it will be more logical to deploy missile defence elements on NATO’s southern flanks - in Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania,” he said.
He earlier said the missile defence system for central Europe targets Russia.
By signing the agreement with the US, Poland has effectively confirmed that Russia is the focus of the missile shield, Rogozin said.
“The Poles should be thanked for helping reveal the strategic goal of the US missile defence plan,” Dmitry Rogozin said during an interview with RIA Novosti.
Russia is strongly opposed to the missile shield, which it says will undermine its nuclear deterrent and threaten its national security.
President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday he had no doubt it was aimed against Russia, but added that Moscow was ready to continue talks with all parties concerned.
Washington says plans to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland coupled with a radar system in the Czech Republic are intended to counter possible attacks from what it calls “rogue states”, including Iran.
The agreement was reached after Washington agreed to reinforce Poland’s air defences. The deal is still to be approved by the two countries’ governments and Poland’s parliament.
Officials say the interceptor base in Poland will be opened by 2012. The Czech Republic signed a deal to host a US radar July 8.
Russian officials earlier said Moscow could deploy its Iskander tactical missiles and strategic bombers in Belarus and Russia’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad if Washington succeeded in its missile shield plans in Europe.
Moscow also warned it could target its missiles on Poland.