Archive for the ‘Kaliningrad’ Category

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.

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

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Testing of Obama Begins

November 10, 2008

It seems we at Peace and Freedom wrote this same article a few days ago!  See:
“Testing” of Obama Has Already Begun

Now, finally, a big-time columnist takes it on….

By Linda Chavez
The Washington Times

If Barack Obama were elected president, he would be tested by a major international crisis soon after taking office. Mr. Biden was wrong about one thing: The test has come even before President-elect Obama is sworn in.

Within hours of Mr. Obama’s impressive victory, another new leader, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, warned that Russia would deploy short-range missiles capable of hitting NATO territory if the new American president goes ahead to build a missile defense system to protect Europe.

President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans Wednesday to deploy ... 
President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans Wednesday to deploy missiles on the EU’s doorstep in a warning shot to US president-elect Barack Obama and Washington’s allies in central Europe.(AFP/Alexander Nemenov)

It’s unclear where a President Obama will come down on this issue. He’s been on both sides during the campaign.

The idea of an anti-missile defense system, of course, is not new. The United States has been working on an anti-missile system to protect our territory since the Reagan administration. The Strategic Defense Initiative – often derisively dismissed as “Star Wars” by its critics – fundamentally changed the way the U.S. approached the idea of nuclear war.

Through much of the Cold War, the United States based its defense almost entirely on a good offense: mutually assured destruction (MAD). We would have so many weapons that the Soviets would realize that an attack on us would be suicidal. If they launched a surprise nuclear attack on us, enough of our missiles would survive to retaliate against them, and annihilation would be the fate of both sides.

But Reagan changed the equation. Essentially abandoning the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which allowed the Soviets and the U.S. to set up anti-missile systems to protect only their two capitals, Reagan announced he would explore building a defense shield to protect the entire country.

Some 20 years later, U.S. technology in this area has advanced to the point that we are capable of deploying a limited system to protect our allies. Last year, the U.S. announced that negotiations were under way with some of our friends in Europe to deploy anti-missile systems on their territory. For some of those allies, the primary threat they fear is a nuclear-armed Iran. Although, Poland, with whom we’ve now signed an agreement, also fears a newly belligerent Russia. But the Bush administration has been at pains to reassure an insecure Russia that any American-deployed system would be purely defensive – a so-called “hit-to-kill” strategy in which a missile’s technology would not even include explosives but would rely on intercepting a nuclear missile before it hit its target.

A launcher of short-range Iskander missile rides in a column ...
A launcher of short-range Iskander missile rides in a column of Russian military vehicles, during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in downtown Moscow, in this Tuesday, April 29, 2008 file photo. President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008, that Russia will deploy the short-range Iskander missiles to Russia’s Kaliningrad region, which lies between Poland and the ex-Soviet republic of Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, in response to U.S. missile defense plans. He did not say whether the missiles would be fitted with nuclear warheads.(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/
nov/10/testing-begins/

EU voices strong concern over Russian missiles

November 7, 2008

The French presidency of the European Union expressed “strong concern” Friday over a Russian plan to station new missiles near Poland’s border.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced Wednesday that Moscow would deploy missiles in its western outpost of Kaliningrad in response to U.S. plans to station an anti-missile defence shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Reuters

“The presidency of the European Union council expresses its strong concern after the announcement by President Medvedev … of the deployment of a complex of Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad,” the presidency said in a statement.

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)

“This announcement does not contribute to the establishment of a climate of trust and to the improvement of security in Europe, at a time when we wish for a dialogue with Russia on questions of security in the whole of the continent,” it said.

The Bush administration says its missile shield aims to protect its European allies against possible attack by “rogue states,” particularly Iran, and by terrorist groups. Moscow views the system as a direct threat to its national security.

The dispute comes ahead of a November 14 summit between Russia and the 27-nation EU in the French city of Nice. The EU froze talks on a new partnership pact with Moscow after Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war in August.

POLES CLAIM VINDICATION

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said Medvedev’s move vindicated Warsaw’s plan to station U.S. Patriot missiles on its soil, a deployment it persuaded Washington to make in return for its agreement to host part of the shield system.

Medvedev’s plan “just shows that our decision to protect our air space with U.S. help is a correct one,” Sikorski told the Polish parliament.

Under proposed confidence-building measures, Sikorski said Russia could send inspectors to bases in Poland on condition that Moscow also allows Polish inspectors into Russian bases.

Both the U.S. and Polish legislatures have still to ratify the accord on the missile defence shield.

Sikorski said Poland and the United States were pressing on with negotiations on the logistical aspects of the deal without waiting for President-elect Barack Obama to take office.

Earlier this week, Sikorski said Obama had told him two months ago that he had concerns over the missile defence shield’s effectiveness and whether it was not directed against Russia. But Sikorski said he expected Obama to push ahead with the system once he had secured reassurances over its aims.

Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted a Moscow foreign ministry source as saying Russia would study Washington’s proposals on the missile shield and on how to find a replacement for a key nuclear arms reduction treaty.

Russia wants to find a replacement for the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which set ceilings on the size of Russian and U.S. nuclear arsenals but expires in December 2008.

“We have received these proposals and we will study them,” Interfax news agency quoted the unidentified source as saying.

(Reporting by Estelle Shirbon in Paris, Gareth Jones in Warsaw and Guy Faulconbridge in Moscow; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

Russia’s Medvedev Moving Missiles in Europe: Here’s The Low Down

November 7, 2008

November 6, 2008: Russia is shipping some SS-26 (9M723K1, or “Iskander”) ballistic missiles to Kaliningrad, as a way to threaten the new NATO anti-missile system being built in Poland (to protect Europe from Iranian missiles). This Russian deployment is all about a unique feature of Iskander, which is that it is not a traditional ballistic missile. That is, it does not fire straight up, leave the atmosphere, then come back down, following a ballistic trajectory. Instead, Iskander stays in the atmosphere and follows a rather flat trajectory.

From Strategy Page

It is capable of evasive maneuvers and deploying decoys. This makes it more difficult for anti-missile systems to take it down. Russia is buying several dozen Iskanders for its own military. These versions have a longer range (400 kilometers) and more countermeasures (to interception). Russia will not provide details. Russia has admitted that it could use Iskander to destroy the U.S. anti-missile systems in a pre-emptive attack. Just in case Russia wanted to start World War III for some reason or another. This Iskander deployment is mainly a publicity stunt, unless you want to seriously consider the possibility that the Russians are trying to start a nuclear war.

Kaliningrad is the perfect place for Russia to start World War III. The city is the former German city of Konisgberg, which was captured at the end of World War II, and kept by Russia, as the boundaries of Eastern Europe were rearranged in the late 1940s. Until 1991, Kaliningrad was on the Soviet Union’s western border. But when the Soviet Union dissolved that year, and more than half the Soviet Union split away to regain their independence as 14 new nations, Kaliningrad found itself nestled between Poland and the newly reestablished Lithuania. The small (200 square kilometers, 400,000 Russians, the Germans were expelled 60 years ago) city is still the headquarters of the Russian Baltic fleet and protected by a large force of troops and warplanes. The Iskander missiles will feel right at home.

The Iskander finally completed its development in the last few years. The 3.8 ton missile has a range of 280 kilometers, and a 900 pound warhead. Russia sells several different types of warheads, including cluster munitions, thermobaric (fuel-air explosive) and electro-magnetic pulse (anti-radar, and destructive to electronics in general.) There is also a nuclear warhead, which is not exported. Guidance is very accurate, using GPS, plus infrared homing for terminal guidance. The warhead will land within 30 feet of the aim point. Iskanders are carried in a 20 ton 8×8 truck, which also provides a launch platform. There is also a reload truck that carries two missiles.

Russia developed the solid fuel Iskander to replace its Cold War era SS-23 battlefield ballistic missiles (which in turn had replaced SCUD). The SS-23 had to be withdrawn from service and destroyed by 1991, because the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty prohibited missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,300 kilometers. When post Cold War financial problems slowed down development of Iskander, this left Russia dependent on the shorter range (120 kilometers) SS-21 system, along with some aging SCUDS, for battlefield ballistic missile support. Russia used some of these older missiles against Chechen rebels in the 1990s.

Russia to Move Missiles to Baltic, Facing Poland and U.S. Missile Defenses

November 5, 2008

Russia is to deploy new missiles in a Baltic enclave near Nato member Poland, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev says.

Short-range Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region would “neutralise” the planned US anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, he said.

The Iskander missile system. File photo

Iskander missiles have a range of up to 400km (248 miles)

The US says its shield is a defence against missiles from “rogue” nations, but Moscow sees it as a direct threat.

Mr Medvedev also said he wanted to extend Russia’s presidential term to six years from the current four.

He did not explain if he wanted to extend his own term, or change the rules for his successor.

There has long been speculation that Mr Medvedev is a stop-gap so that Prime Minister Putin – who served the maximum two consecutive terms – can return to the top job, correspondents say.

‘Conceited’ US policy

In his first state-of-the nation address, Mr Medvedev said Moscow would deploy the Iskander missile system in the Kaliningrad region – between Nato members Lithuania and Poland – to “neutralise – if necessary – the [US] anti-missile system”.

Kaliningrad map

“Naturally, we also consider using for the same purpose the resources of Russia’s navy,” he said.

Mr Medvedev also said Russia would jam the US anti-missile system electronically.

Mr Medvedev’s announcement is extremely provocative, but the Kremlin’s clear message is that America is to blame, the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Moscow says.

Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus later said that Russia’s decision to deploy missiles was “beyond comprehension”.

In his speech to lawmakers, the Russian leader also said the August war in Georgia had resulted from a “conceited” US foreign policy.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7710362.stm