When Putin commented on USA’s plans to deploy the air defense system in Eastern Europe, the president said that “Russia’s response would be asymmetrical, but highly efficacious.” The commander of Russia’s Air Force, General Vladimir Mikhailov, clarified Putin’s statement recently at a meeting with air force attaches of several foreign countries. The general said that Russia was seriously considering a possibility to expand the joint regional anti-missile system on almost the entire territory of the former USSR within the framework of the Organization of Collective Security Treaty.
The parliament of Georgia (a republic of the former Soviet Union) unanimously approved the declaration of Georgia’s NATO membership on March 13. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko stated that the deployment of the US air defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic could bring only good to the whole of Europe.
It has already become obvious nowadays that the USA will eventually deploy the components of its air defense system in the above-mentioned countries. The plans will be implemented despite the discrepancies between the countries of so-called “Old and New Europe.” The USA has solved this problem single-handedly, as usual. Central Europe will only have to find a way to legalize this decision for the international community and Russia, first and foremost. A number of Russia-NATO consultations have been held with this very goal.
While “Old Europe” is busy with legalizing the deployment of the US anti-missile defense system, the countries with limited sovereignty try to attract as much attention as possible against the background of their dreams of becoming NATO members. Apparently, Ukraine’s Yushchenko does not want to miss his historic chance of joining NATO, that is why he upheld the deployment of air defense system in Poland and Czech Republic. Viktor Yushchenko added that the components of the anti-missile system will be used for defensive purposes not only for the countries of their deployment, but for Europe on the whole. In addition, Yushchenko believes that any defensive measures taken in any part of the world, including Europe, can only strengthen the basis of peace. “If every country is protected better and if it has defensive means at its disposal, the interests of peaceful coexistence can only win at this point,” Yushchenko said.
The parliament of Georgia has recently approved the declaration about the urgent membership of Georgia in NATO. The document is about the strengthening of Georgia’s foreign and defense policies with subsequent integration into NATO structures and its further participation in all NATO-led operations.
For the time being Russia can only respond with a verbal action. It is not ruled out that Russia will expand the joint regional anti-missile defense system with the help of Belarus.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea