The Russian Federation is responding to developing and current threats to its security and attempts by the West to shift the global strategic military balance in its favor, with US/NATO’s missile “defence” shield being cited as one of the key threats faced by Russia in maintaining a strategic balance and one for which against which measures are being taken. Attempts by the US/NATO to militarize the Arctic are also being addressed as well as attempts by US/NATO to tip the balance of the nuclear deterrence and project its “force” globally, in particular with regard to the Middle East.
President Vladimir Putin, speaking to an expanded meeting of the Russian Ministry of Defence on Tuesday stated that plans by US/NATO to expand its missile defence plans in Europe have not stopped and continue unabated, hence Russia is forced to respond. Speaking of the continuation of US/NATO missile “defence” plans is clearly in response to statements by US/NATO that despite the supposed threat of Iran (the pretext for the ABM shield) being eliminated they will not change their plans for installing missiles in Europe.
President Putin has publically stated and now confirmed what many have been saying for years regarding the ABM shield being installed in order to neutralize any response from Russia. The fact that with minor modifications the missiles making up the shield could be converted into first strike weapons were not touched upon by the president but given the context this is clear and is something he is no doubt aware of.
President Putin said that the West is attempting bring about a shift in the strategic balance.
With regard to the massive modernization taking place in the Russian military and across the entire spectrum of the Russian armed forces President Putin underlined the fact that leading countries are actively modernizing their arsenals, investing heavily in the development of weapons including in are where new generation technologies are being used. He stated that Russia is no exception .
Regarding exercises that have been held in 2013, President Putin said confirmed the reliability of Russia’s nuclear shield and he spoke highly of the increased combat capabilities of the aerospace defence forces, especially with regard to Russia’s own missile defence warning and interception systems.
President Putin made the connection between diplomatic efforts and military strength underling Russia’s staunch position in always seeking a diplomatic solution to conflicts. He noted in his speech that Russia has consistently advocated settlement of international and regional issues exclusively by diplomatic means, adding that the “factor of military deterrence” often plays a significant role.
It is important to recall that President Putin also recently disbanded the Kremlin working group which was seeking to find ways of cooperation with US/NATO on missile defence. Clearly surrounding Russian and oneself with US/NATO rockets is not something that the Kremlin is too keen on being a party to.