President Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia may be forced to take new steps in response to further deployment of American missile defense system in Europe.
“Our response to European missile defense will be gradual. The first stage has already been completed – that was the launching of the radar system in Kaliningrad,” Medvedev said at a meeting with his and Prime Minister Putin’s supporters on Thursday.
The president warned that more steps will follow if necessary.
“But I really would not like any of the Russian leaders to make the decision to deploy strike forces at our borders at the end of this decade,” Medvedev added.
He underlined that Russia remains “absolutely open” for talks on the issue with NATO partners.
“We are only saying that if our partners fail to come to terms with us on certain parameters in the coming 10, nine or eight years, we will be compelled to make some steps,” Medvedev pointed out.
The head of state said that time has not run out yet for the sides to iron out their differences. However, if the situation develops the in the vein it is now, Russia will have to respond.
“We have both material and military prerequisites for that,” Medvedev said.
The president observed that it is clear to everyone that “missile defense is the continuation of the strategic nuclear forces, only with the use of different means.”
“If we have the parity of the strategic nuclear balance, any action that breaks this parity will change such a balance. We will have to respond to these actions,” he said.