Putin Warns: Russia Must Respond to U.S. Nuclear Provocation on Its Borders

4 de junio de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>Putin Warns: Russia Must Respond to U.S. Nuclear Provocation on Its Borders</h1><p>June 4, 2007 (LPAC)--On the eve of his visit to Germany for the G-8 Summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin granted an exclusive interview to a group of leading press from the 7 non-Russian summit nations, including the <em>London Times</em> , the <em>Corriere della Sera</em> (Italy) and Germany's <em>Spiegel</em> weekly. In regard to the U.S. deployment of missile defense systems on the Russian border, Putin said (excerpts taken from the Spiegel interview): "Once the new missile system is established, it will function in an automatic mode, linked to the entire nuclear potential of the USA. For the first time in history, components of the American nuclear system will be established on the European continent - that changes the whole configuration of international security. We are being told that this is to protect against Iranian missiles. But these do not exist: Iran does not have missiles with a range of 5,000 to 8,000 kilometers. A wall of protection is being built here against something that does not exist. There is no reason for such a missile defense system in Europe. We, however, are forced to respond to that."</p><p>Putin said he still hopes that the USA will find a way back to a dialogue based on reason, but "if that fails, we have to react. the missile defense system only creates the illusion of protection - but in theory, the likelihood of unleashing a nuclear conflict will even increase. The global strategic balance is disrupted. To restore it, we have to create a system to outflank these American weapons." Putin added his suspicion that the missile issue is pushed by the USA with the intent to provoke a Russian counterreaction and "prevent further cooperation between Russia and Europe." The <em>Times</em> reports that Putin said that "we will need to establish such systems which would be able to penetrate the (US) missile defense systems. What kind of means will be used to hit the targets that our military believe are potential threats - ballistic missiles, or cruise missiles, or some kind of new weapons system?"</p></div></body>