4 February 2014
US provoking Russia to arms race, experts say
The Voice of Russia


Collage: Voice of Russia

The US has stepped up the development of the missile defence system in Europe. Washington is seriously concerned over the modernization of the Russian Armed Forces. Four US missile destroyers will be deployed in Europe’s waters in the coming two years to protect it from a missile attack. Some days ago one of them, Donald Cook, equipped with the Aegis missile system, set sail for the Naval Station Rota in Spain.

After the Pentagon’s head Chuck Hagel broke this news at the Munich Security Conference (MSC), he said two days before that happened he provided assurances to Poland that the US is ready to deploy the elements of its missile defence there. Europe and the US are facing the necessity to respond to challenges coming from the Middle East and North Korea. And under the aggravating circumstances – such as the above-mentioned, Chuck Hagel said, China and Russia are modernizing their armed forces, thus, sending a challenge to the defence partnerships around the world.

And the fact that the deployment of the US missile defence system in Europe has been an object of serious concern for Russia for a long time now - for which it has serious grounds though – was hushed up by Chuck Hagel. A missile defence system is kind of a "holy cow" for the US, Deputy Director of the Institute for the US and Canadian Studies Pavel Zolotaryov says. The missile defence-related problems are giving a boost to the development of science at the fundamental and applied level.

According to Zolotaryov, any attraction of budgetary funds to the field of missile defence is bearing fruit. However, what is meant here is not a statement to the effect that it is possible to create an effective system of missile defence. It is unreal, the Russian expert says.

They are well aware of that and do not aim to create a missile defence system that would be able to repulse a massive missile strike. As an example, let’s take the first stage of the Star Wars Programme that came into being under Reagan and made it possible to bring the Internet to the global level. It is very difficult to say at the moment what new technologies may appear today. But in order to maintain its technological superiority over all others the US must rationally invest in the missile defence system. And for this, it is necessary to find a reason to persuade its voters to invest in the missile defence system. Therefore, had Iran and North Korea been non-existent, it would have been necessary to invent them.

And one more thing here. Finances taken from the budget, due to be invested in the missile defence system - in other words, in the advanced branches of science and technology, are being capitalized. Businessmen are getting involved in military projects as well. Hence, it is rather doubtful that the missile defence system will ruin the US, Pavel Zolotaryov says.

Besides, for the European Union, which is part of NATO, the programme of missile defence is also of military and practical significance for the formation of a multi-purpose system of anti-aircraft and anti-missile defence. Such a system will make it possible to deploy, in case of need, mobile Patriot systems and their sea-based analogs wherever it is necessary. The system of control is the main thing here, Pavel Zolotaryov says.

The US global system of missile defence is not in conformity with Europe as an intended purpose, Director of the Centre for Public and Political Studies Vladimir Yevseyev says. Because neither Iran nor North Korea are in possession of missiles, which could pose a real threat to Europe and the US today.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is armed with missiles of the Ghadr -1 and Shahab – 3M type. Their range is not more than 1,600 kilometres. Such missiles pose no threat to the European states. Work on the development of the solid -fuelled Sejil missile is currently under way in Iran. But it is not yet clear when it will be adopted by the Iranian Armed Forces. And it is rather doubtful that this will happen soon.

Under such conditions, it is clear that the US is deploying a system of missile defence in Europe, possibly, to deter the strategic nuclear forces of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Yevseyev says. Navy-guided destroyers, which are being deployed on the military bases in Europe today, are creating a potential threat for intercepting Russian ground- and sea-based inter-continental ballistic missiles, the expert says.

At first, Moscow showed restraint while reacting to the US programme of missile defence in Europe and put into operation new radar stations of the Voronezh DM type. But today Russia is facing the necessity to develop a new heavy missile, a combat railway missile system, and to increase the arsenal of the intercontinental ballistic missile systems of the Topol-M and Yars type. As it turns out, the US and NATO are urging Russia to adopt military and technical measures – in this case, to deter the West. This is how the arms race is unfolding, Vladimir Yevseyev says in conclusion. Until the West does not regard Russia as an equal partner, it will be impossible to speak about the development of a common security system between Russia and NATO.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Foreign Ministry has commented on the promotion of the European Missile Defence Programme. As you might remember, Head of the Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry Mikhail Ulyanov did not rule out that the further development of the missile defence system might urge Russia to use its right of opting out of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms. The chance to avoid this scenario is dependent on the political will of the US.

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