US and NATO officials were disappointed with Dmitry Medvedev's recent harsh statements about Russia's intention to pull out from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was one of the first to respond to Medvedev's statements.
"The suggestion that deployment of missiles in the areas neighboring the alliance is an appropriate response ... is very disappointing. NATO's missile defense system [is] designed to defend against threats from outside Europe. Not designed to alter balance of deterrence," Rasmussen wrote via Twitter.
"Cooperation, not confrontation, is the way ahead," he added.
Also read: Russia and USA on verge of another Cold War
However, the USA still refuses to give legal guarantees saying that the air defense system in Europe is not aimed against Russia. Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov, the President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, said in an interview with Pravda.Ru that there were two basic positions determined in the START-3 Treaty (the document was signed a year ago).
"The first one of them virtually reflected the degradation of Russia's strategic nuclear forces. The second one mirrored the transformation of the American defense potential. The USA could afford a planned reduction of missile launchers because the country set the course for the development of the air defense system and cruise missiles.
"The Americans believe today that it's ok for the Russians to pull out from the START Treaty. The Americans are not losing anything from it, whereas the Russian are not gaining anything either. Unfortunately, the Americans are perfectly aware of the fact that the Russian defense complex has been declining. They know that Russia has its limits in responding to USA's and NATO's challenges. How many Iskander systems can Russia make? The Iskander systems, which everyone could see on the Victory Day Parade on Red Square were not operational. Up to 63 percent of the Russian air space is not protected today.
"Unfortunately, Russia has not been making successive decisions during the recent years. The USA pulled out from the ABM Treaty, but Russia continued to hold joint military drills and share technical information with the country. Afterwards, Russia became concerned all of a sudden. Then, Russia was dissatisfied with any kind of air defense, so we put forward a suggestion to build air defense system together. We shouldn't rush like that - no one is going to take us seriously otherwise.
"America has been successive from the very start. Now the Americans intend to develop the air defense system to be able to neutralize Russian and Chinese missiles. It is about time Russia should make up her mind on what exactly she wants from the US.
"Perhaps, Russia today is the best place for the activities of Western intelligence services and non-governmental organizations. The West does not take Russia as an equal partner. They think of Russians as Indians, whose interests can be ignored. What if they eventually agree to provide those legal guarantees about air defense to Russia? They will have to be approved at the adequate committee of the US Senate, which is not likely to happen.
"Of course, the USA and NATO agree to continue the talks. However, they take this cooperation as concessions that Russia should make for them single-handed. They demand - we make concessions. We delivered all laser weapons technologies to them during Boris Yeltsin's era. Still, they are expecting more concessions from us."
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