Archive for the ‘Iskander’ Category

Russia Already Bullying Barack

November 19, 2008

Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of “change,” but one change the president-elect may be planning on – not deploying a US missile defense in Eastern Europe – would be a big mistake.

Indeed, it’s exactly the type of about-face that nations like Russia, Iran and North Korea hope for from the incoming administration.

Worse, it will likely be seen abroad as knuckling to Russian bullying.

Two weeks ago, just a day after the US elections, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a virulently anti-American speech – his first major address since taking office this spring and arguably the first foreign “test” of the president-elect.

Amid other ranting, Medvedev demanded that the United States back off on its planned missile-defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

If the deployment goes ahead, Medvedev warned, Moscow will place short-range missiles in Kaliningrad – a Russian enclave nestled between NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

A few days after the Medvedev speech, a senior Obama aide came out after a phone call between the president-elect and Polish President Lech Kaczynski saying that Obama had “made no commitment on” missile defense.

Ugh. That’s not a certain retreat by Washington in the face of Moscow’s threats, but it’s a very troubling start for the Obama team on a key national-security issue.

Going wobbly caused heartburn in Warsaw and Prague, where both governments went to the mat to get approval for the missile-defense deal – and glee in Moscow, Tehran and Pyongyang. What rogue doesn’t love a whiff of wobbliness?

And the stakes rose just days later, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Russia is now in talks to deploy missiles in Belarus, which could be bore-sighted on targets across Europe.

(Belarus’ motive? It’s probably looking for Russian help on energy supplies and financial credits – or, if Europe wants to bribe it to reject the missiles, for an easing of EU economic sanctions imposed over human-rights issues.)

The next step in this ongoing lesson for the president-elect came Friday – when French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a halt to European missile defense until more talks can be held.

Sarkozy’s words, at a European Union-Russia summit, were a clear sop to fellow attendee Medvedev – at the expense of the United States and the president-elect. (Shamefully, the EU is re-engaging Russia despite Moscow’s failure to meet the EU six-point peace plan for Georgia.)

But the issue isn’t just bullying – there’s the policy, too. This system is designed to defend against the Iranian missile and nuclear threat – which is growing fast.

By Peter Brookes
The New York Post

Testing O's spine in Europe.
Medvedev: Testing O’s spine in Europe.

Just last week, Tehran tested a two-stage, solid-fuel ballistic missile – whose 1,200-mile range would let it hit all of the Middle East and parts of southeastern Europe.

If reports of the Iranian test are true, this would be Tehran’s first successful test of a multistage rocket – which would put it on track for launching missiles to ever-increasing ranges, including intercontinental distances. The test also showed advances in Iran’s basic rocketry science, moving beyond liquid fuels to a more reliable solid-fuel rocket motor.

This is an images released  Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at ...
This is an images released Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at an undisclosed location in Iran, showing a missile test fire by Iranian armed forces. Iran has successfully test-fired a new generation of long range surface-to-surface missile using solid fuel, making them more accurate than its predecessors, the defense minister announced Wednesday. Mostafa Mohammed Najjar said on state television that the Sajjil was a high-speed missile manufactured at the Iranian Aerospace department of the Defense Ministry. He said it had a range of about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers).(AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Vahid Reza Alaei)

The last thing we need is to look “soft” on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/11182008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/
missile_defense__bullying_barack_139253.htm

Vladimir “By The Balls” Putin Runs Russia; Dmitry “Tinkerbell” Medvedev Follows the Big Dog

November 18, 2008

It is pretty clear to even outside observers not paying too much attention to the international scene that the man running Russia is one Vladimir Putin. 
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The “former” president and current Prime Minister hand picked his successer in the top post, Dmitry Medvedev, who is the former head of the biggest Russian state money maker, Gazprom, the oil giant.

Medvedev, thanks to Putin, went from Gazprom to Putin’s chief of staff and then to the presidency of Russia.  Medvedev has already said he will ask parliament to lengthen the term Russian president’s serve so that the next president, whom all analysts believe will be Putin (Part Deux), can have a longer Kremlin tour.

Putin, a former KGB intelligence operative, is the strong man of the Kremlin and all of Russia.  After he sparked the Russian invasion of South Ossietia and Georgia last summer, he was quoted by the Times in London as saying he wanted to “hang by the balls” Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Putin made the “by the balls” remark to a man he considers to be a lightweight: French President Sarkozy.  Peace and Freedom was told by a source inside the Moscow leadership that Putin refers to “lightweights” using derisive, feminine terms and names from fairy tales and stories. 

Sarkozy and Medvedev have been called “Tinkerbell” by Putin, we were told.

Walt Disney’s version of “Tinkerbell” 

Putin showed who had the balls in the Georgia invasion all right.  Kremilin insiders said the attack was Putin’s brainchild and not of Medvedev’s making.

“Tinkerbell” just followed orders.

Then we have Mr. Putin’s he-man media blitz.  Photographs of Putin hunting, fishing, swimming, lifting weights, skinning game and shooting have appeared routinely in the Russian media.

Putin’s “manliness” is rivaled on the world media stage only by Sarah Palin’s moose hunting….





Above: Putin the he-man hunter

Putin also engineered the intimidation of Barack Obama just hours after the American Presidential election, threatening Eastern Europe with Iskander ballistic missiles unless the U.S. backed off of its missile defense plan in Poland and the Czech Republic.

What does this all mean?  It isn’t entirely clear.

But one thing is certain: inside Russia Putin is “the man.”  The average Russian considers Putin a strong man who represents Russia very well.  “He is bringing back Soviet greatness” one veteran told us.

And if weak-sister Tinkerbells in the West don’t like it, Russia and Putin don’t much care.

Related:
“Technically” No Longer President, Russia’s Putin Continues Some Functions

Russia’s Putin and the Great Deception

In Russia’s Putin-Medvedev shuffle, Putin is the lead dancer
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Russia’s Putin threatened to hang Georgia’s leader ‘by the balls’

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President of the Russian ...
Putin’s favorite “Tinkerbells.”  French President Nicolas Sarkozy and President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev are seen during the EU-Russia summit, in Nice, southern France, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008.(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

Belarus Not Planning to Deploy Russian Missiles to Counter U.S., Face Poland and Czech Republic

November 18, 2008

Belarus said it isn’t negotiating with Russia about placing short-range Iskander missiles inside the former Soviet state as a counter to the U.S. missile-shield project.

Belarus has no plans to deploy the missiles as part of Russia’s response to the U.S. missile-shield project in Poland and the Czech Republic, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its Web site late yesterday. The country may acquire the missiles as part of modernizing its military, according to the statement.

By Paul Abelsky, Bloomberg

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko supported Russia’s plan to deploy Iskander missiles in its Baltic Kaliningrad exclave and was negotiating to place them inside Belarus, the Wall Street Journal said on Nov. 14. citing an interview with Lukashenko.

Poland, Czech Republic Ask U.S. To Keep Missile Defense Plans; Telling France, Sarkozy, Medvedev to “Bugger Off”

November 17, 2008

Poland and the Czech Republic hope that the new U.S. administration does not change its plans for a missile shield in Central Europe, the Euronews television channel reported on Saturday.

“We are not waiting for, even on political grounds, any kind of revolution. But of course, a new president looks at everything in a new way,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Saturday.

“We know the position of the newly elected president – he told me himself that he wants to be sure that thing works,” the Polish foreign minister added in comments broadcast on Euronews.

From: RIA Novosti

Under President George Bush, Washington has worked hard to reach agreements with Warsaw and Prague on the deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.

The U.S. has insisted that the missile shield is intended to protect against attacks from “rogue states” such as Iran. Russia has protested strenuously against the system as a threat to its national security.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, speaks with President ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, speaks with President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev during the EU-Russia summit, in Nice, southern France, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008.  They agreed with each other but leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic and the U.S. said “bugger off.”(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office in January, has been noncommittal on missile defense. After his election victory, a senior foreign policy adviser, Denis McDonough, said he would only continue with the project if its effectiveness was proven.

Euronews also reported that the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic had been surprised by the declaration of French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday that the missile defense system would not improve Europe’s security.

“We should not talk about deployment of a missile shield, which would do nothing to bring security,” Sarkozy said at a news conference with President Dmitry Medvedev after the EU-Russia summit in the French resort city of Nice.

Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said in a statement to reporters he “was surprised” by Sarkozy’s remarks.

“As far as the French presidency’s mandate for the EU-Russia summit is concerned, it contains no mention of the anti-missile shield,” he said.

France holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union.

An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch ... 
An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch platform during a test firing at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert in this image released to Fars News by the military November 12, 2008.  Iran says these missiles can now reach Israel and into Europe.REUTERS/FARS NEWS

Russia’s Medvedev Learned PR Skills from Hitler, Chavez, Khrushchev and Putin?

November 17, 2008

One has to ask, “Where is God’s name did Russian President Dmitry Medvedev learn his public relations skills?”  Well, there are several great role models: Russia’s Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev took his shoe off to bang the table at a “diplomatic” meeting.  Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, standing at the U.N. in New York City, called President Bush “El Diablo” (the Devil).  And we all know Adolph Hitler’s diplomatic and PR track record.  But Medvedev is a protégée of whom?  Vladimir Putin, if we recollect correctly….

By Vladimir Frolov
The Moscow Times

President Dmitry Medvedev’s first state-of-the-nation address raised a lot eyebrows abroad both by its content and tone. If the objective was to make people shake their heads in bewilderment, it succeeded beyond expectations. But if the intention was to send a reassuring message to the international community, it was a stunning failure.

It is hard to understand why, after so much preparation, Medvedev’s team managed to deliver such a disastrous act of public diplomacy.

The speech was purposely delayed to Nov. 5 to give Medvedev an opportunity to send a signal to President-elect Barack Obama several hours after his election victory was announced. Medvedev’s team deliberated for some time whether Medvedev should send Obama a warm, handwritten note or an impersonal diplomatic cable. They wound up sending him a public ultimatum on missile defense. “It was an almost caricature case of the Kremlin being tone-deaf,” said one prominent Russia analyst in the United States.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the Washington Club ... 
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at the Washington Club in Washington, November 15, 2008. Medvedev visited Washington to attend the Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy on Saturday.REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES)

If the intention was to signal the Kremlin’s willingness to re-engage the United States under the new administration, then the Iskander missile threat and the failure by Medvedev to immediately congratulate Obama directly was really dumb.

Medvedev’s clueless speech, filled with lots of U.S.-bashing, made it much more difficult for those on Obama’s team who argued that the relationship with Russia, badly bungled by the administration of President George W. Bush, needed the priority attention to be repaired.

Medvedev’s Iskander threat sounded like an attempt to publicly blackmail Obama out of missile-defense deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic. By laying down this marker, Medvedev unintentionally made it much more difficult for Obama to back down from the missile-defense deployments. To cancel the project now would be tantamount for him to buckling to Moscow’s pressure — something that U.S. presidents are not too fond of doing. Moreover, blackmailing a U.S. president-elect is not the best way to improve U.S.-Russian relations.

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Medvedev took a page right out of Soviet leader Yury Andropov’s book by threatening to place missiles on the country’s western borders. Many Russian specialists in Washington believe that Medvedev’s threats make him sound like President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

In a few months, Medvedev’s Kremlin will encounter a tightly knit and efficient Obama administration. Medvedev needs much better advice to hold his ground with Obama in public diplomacy. Right now he is clueless in Moscow.

Vladimir Frolov is president of LEFF Group, a government relations and PR company.

Related:
Russia’s Putin and the Great Deception

Russia Backs Off (Further?) on Europe Missile Threat

November 15, 2008

President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia retreated Friday from his threat to deploy missiles on Europe’s borders, but only if President-elect Barack Obama joined Russia and France in calling for a conference on European security by next summer.

By Stephen Castle
The New York Times
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At a meeting in Nice hosted by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, Mr. Medvedev backed away from the bellicose speech he gave last week, just hours after Mr. Obama won the United States presidential election. On Friday, the Russian leader argued instead that all countries “should refrain from unilateral steps” before discussions on European security next summer.

Mr. Sarkozy, who presided over the meeting between Russia and the 27 European Union nations in his capacity as the union’s president, helped ease the way for Mr. Medvedev’s retreat. The French leader supported the idea of talks on a new security architecture for Europe and suggested that they could be held by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in June or July.

 
Above: President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, left, greeted President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia in Nice, France, on Friday, before a meeting with officials from the European Union nations. Bruno Bebert/European Pressphoto Agency

Both Russia and the United States belong to the organization.

Mr. Sarkozy made clear that he wants the United States to think again about the missile defense systems that it plans to build in Poland and the Czech Republic. Mr. Medvedev last week threatened to respond by stationing missiles in Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave bordering Poland and Lithuania, both of which are members of NATO and the European Union.

“Between now and then,” said Mr. Sarkozy, referring to the summer summit meeting, “please no more talk of antimissile protection systems.”

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/world/
europe/15europe.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Russia First With A Meaningful Test for Obama

November 14, 2008

If the new administration is thinking about relations with Russia, as it should be, a rare personal story of an American scholar’s recent talk with the Russian president offers some substantive insights.

Andrew Kuchins told a small group of us at the Center for Strategic and International Studies fall meeting about how President Dmitry Medvedev described his phone conversation with President Bush last summer during the nasty little war between Georgia and its former imperial power, Moscow.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, and Chief of Russia's ... 
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, and Chief of Russia’s Nanotechnology Agency Anatoly Chubais seen during the 2008 EU-Russia Industrialists’ Round Table Annual Conference in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service)

Medvedev told the small group of scholars in the Valdai Discussion Club that Bush had asked him, “You are a young government — what do you need this war for?” And Medvedev told him, “George, you would have done the same thing, only more brutally. … And, remember, if you continue your support of the Georgian regime, you do so at our own risk.”

By Georgie Anne Geyer

Kuchins, a young Eurasian specialist at CSIS, then used this unusual opportunity of hearing what Russians really think to catapult to his deep concerns about American/Russian relations and Russian intentions today. “For years since the Cold War,” he said, “I have believed that the chance of war with Russia was close to zero. Today, that probability seems, while obviously difficult to quantify, between 2 and 3 percent — and rising. I never saw (Russian and American) narratives about the world so diametrically opposed.”

Then he recalled how President Medvedev also told them at the meeting, with unmistakable meaning, “We will not tolerate any more humiliation — and we are not joking!”

Now, I have covered the Soviet Union, and later the Russian Federation, regularly since 1967, and I can say that that one word, “humiliation,” plus the fear of it, are largely behind virtually all Russian actions and statements.

Gen. Brent Scowcroft, respected Russian specialist and co-author of the new book, “America and the World, Conversations on the Future of American Foreign Policy,” told us at the same CSIS meeting: “The Russians are still searching for their soul. Are they really Europeans, who didn’t enjoy the Enlightenment, or are they Asians? … We’ve never had a strategy for dealing with the Russians after the Cold War … (W)e left the impression that it didn’t matter.”

So, where are we now? Well, when Vice President-elect Joe Biden warned earlier this fall that the world would test the new president, the first to step up to the plate was Moscow. Within mere days of the election, that same Russian president had thrown out the first ball: With bristling words, he warned he would co-opt the Bush administration‘s plan to put missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic by saying that Moscow would respond by placing short-range missiles on Russia’s Western border in Kaliningrad. These were all “forced measures,” he said, in place of the “positive cooperation that Russia wanted to combat common threats.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ucgg/20081113/cm_ucgg/russia
isfirsttotestnewpresident

Moscow Rejects Second Proposal Set On Missile Defense From U.S.

November 12, 2008

The Kremlin has rejected a second set of U.S. proposals offered to assuage increasingly strident Russian criticism of plans for an American missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, news agencies reported Wednesday.

The Bush administration says the system would protect Europe from attacks by Iranian long-range missiles. Moscow has angrily dismissed those assertions, saying the system could eliminate Russia‘s nuclear deterrent or spy on its military installations.

Iranian Shahab-2 (L) and Shahab-3 missiles stand on display ... 
Iranian Shahab-2 (L) and Shahab-3 missiles stand on display in front of a large portrait of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a square in south Tehran in September 2008. The United States denounced Iran’s claimed test of a new medium-range missile on Wednesday and warned Tehran to halt its ballistic missile program “immediately” amid a nuclear dispute with the West.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

In a major speech just hours after Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential vote, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged to base short-range Iskander missiles in the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad on the border with Poland if the U.S. goes forward with its plans.

By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press Writer Mike Eckel, Associated Press Writer

The Bush administration later sent Moscow a new set of proposals. Previous U.S. proposals involved, among other things, offers to allow Russia to send observers to monitor the missile defense sites. Russian and U.S. officials have not publicly disclosed the contents of the latest proposals.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this weekend after meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the latest proposals were insufficient. On Wednesday, an unnamed Kremlin official told Russian news agencies that Moscow was prepared to work with Washington on questions of European security. But the official accused the Bush administration of trying to limit the incoming Obama administration’s choices on the issue.

The Americans have presented us with several proposals. These proposals are inadequate, they have nothing new in them,” the official said.

The Kremlin did not comment on the report.

In Brussels, the Russian ambassador to the European Union said Medvedev’s speech had been intended as a signal to the Obama administration

“Russia has been warning the international community for many months that we would have to react,” Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov told reporters ahead of an EU-Russia summit Friday in Nice, France. “I don’t want to prejudge any decision that President-elect Obama will be taking, but I believe it’s best for him to know what to expect from Russia in case this decision is taken.”

An American official said separately that the U.S. and Russia will begin talks Thursday on finding a successor to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires at the end of next year.

The official said the talks will take place in the U.S. and Russian diplomatic missions in Geneva and last until Nov. 21.

The 1991 START treaty significantly cut U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.

The official spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to be quoted by name.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow said the U.S. State Department’s third-ranked official, William Burns, met with Lavrov and Kremlin foreign policy aide Sergei Prikhodko Wednesday for discussions on various subjects, including talks on missile defense that would take place next month. No further details were released.

_____

Associated Press Writers Slobodan Lekic in Brussels and Bradley S. Klapper in Geneva contributed to this report.

Time To Manage Iraq and Russia like flashing traffic lights

November 12, 2008

“Ready, Fire, Aim” caricatures how U.S. administrations and governments often behave. Had George W. Bush  not succumbed to this syndrome in going to war in Iraq, President-elect John McCain might be fashioning his transition. Instead, millions at home and abroad are congratulating and saluting the next American president, Barack Obama.  

By Harlan Ullman
Op-Ed
The Washington Times

Flush with a historic victory, the Obama team is planning his administration. President Bush has promised full cooperation. Despite the danger warnings, will Mr. Obama and his senior advisors fall into the trap of ready, fire, aim in translating campaign promises and slogans into policies and in selecting people for high office? The electoral rout of Republicans giving Democrats large majorities in both Houses of Congress will add political adrenaline rather than restraint to this transition process.

Clearly, economic and financial crises along with the war in Iraq and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan will rise to the top of Mr. Obama’s already overcrowded agenda filled with a myriad of other competing pressures and decisions that must be made. So what can Mr. Obama and his team do to ensure that his administration will reflect aims and objectives based on the nation’s best interests rather than on campaign sound bites, political IOU’s and partisan biases? Step one is defining the problems and the possible corrective actions. Step two is identifying the skill sets that will be needed in assembling a team for governing. Step three is prioritizing step one and connecting with step two. Given the on-going wars and economic crises, Mr. Obama will be under great pressure to make these choices quickly if only to build public confidence in his ability to lead.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks during a meeting with ...
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks during a meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow November 11, 2008.REUTERS/Natalia Kolesnikova/Pool (RUSSIA)

Consider three of the most pressing issues: the economy, Iraq and with President Dmitry Medvedev’s latest challenge to install short range missiles along its western borders to counter the missile defense systems being installed in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Mr. Obama’s economic team will extend far beyond his choice for Treasury. The heads of the National Economic Council and the Council of Economic Advisers are part of the team. The skill sets must include wide experience in economic crises; deep appreciation of macro-and microeconomics and business; and master political abilities to deal with diverse and often adversarial constituencies. No person has all of these qualities. But which are most important for each position? That judgment should drive the choice and not merely the need to name names of people who are competent but not necessarily in the crucial areas.

An employee shows dollar notes at a foreign exchange unit at ...

At the same time, Mr. Obama has promised to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans. The other 5 percent however pay the lion’s share of taxes. And if the Bush tax cuts are not extended next year, everyone’s pocket book will be hit. A cardinal rule in times of recession is not to raise taxes. The new team better understand this reality, otherwise the economic mess will worsen irrespective of campaign slogans and promises.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iran’s Ahmadinejad

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/n
ov/12/with-all-deliberate-speed/

Russia Promises to Halt Missile Deployments Facing Poland

November 12, 2008

Russia’s foreign minister has said it will abandon plans to station missiles in Kaliningrad if the US does not base part of a missile shield in Europe.

Sergei Lavrov said short-range Iskander missiles would only be deployed in the western enclave, which borders Poland, to neutralise any perceived US threat.

BBC

President Dmitri Medvedev unveiled the planned counter-measure a week ago.

The US insists the planned shield is designed solely to guard against attack by “rogue states”, such as Iran.

At present, the system will include a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and 10 missile interceptors in northern Poland. Moscow says they could threaten its own defences.

These would be in addition to radars and interceptors in Alaska and California in the US, and another radar at Fylingdales in the UK.

‘Third zone’

At a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday, Mr Lavrov was asked whether the Russian plans to deploy Iskander missile systems in Kaliningrad might affect Friday’s EU-Russia summit and renewed talks on a new partnership and co-operation agreement.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7723082.stm