Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday plans to put offensive weapon systems on Russia’s borders to counter a planned European missile shield were not electoral rhetoric but a forced measure.
“The statement has no tactical or pre-election implications, as some opposition members put it,” Medvedev said. “It was a thoroughly considered decision, and, to put it bluntly, I was in fact forced to make it.”
Medvedev said last week that Russia would move “advanced offensive weapon systems” to its European borders in response to a planned missile shield if talks on Russia’s participation in the project fail. Moscow is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the shield will not be directed against it, Washington, however, has refused to put its verbal assurances in writing.