The United States confirmed on Monday, January 22, that they are going ahead in formal talks with Poland and the Czech Republic with intentions to put Missile Defense Initiative bases in the two countries. The system will contain 10 interceptor missiles to be deployed in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.
"They (interceptor missiles) are directed towards rogue nations (North Korea and Iran) not obviously sophisticated ballistic missile fleets as the Russians have," General Henry Obering, US Missile Defense Agency told Agence France Presse (AFP) on January 25 in a telephone press conference.
"The missile defense system doesn't pose a technical threat to the Russian intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fleet," said Obering, assuaging the Russians.
The interceptor deployment in Poland would require the manning of 200 persons and the entire operation in both countries would cost $10 billion US per year. The system is expected to be operational by 2011.
The Kremlin condemned the US scheme as a "clear threat" to Russia and called for talks with US and European leaders, according to AFP.
Russian Minister of Defense, Sergei Ivanov questioned the plan to place an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic."To this we reply, knowing the reality, neither North Korea and Iranian missiles can reach this region (Europe)," said Ivanov.
Unless North Korea and Iran were to acquire ICBM's from say ... Russia, them the MDI will all of a sudden become valid.
"It is true that for intercontinental missile fired from the middle east - from northern Iran for example - the shortest way to reach Washington or New York passes over central Europe," said Bruno Gruselle, research specialist at the Paris based Strategic Research Foundation.
Last year Ivanov attacked the missile shield as an attempt to change the strategic balance between the Russia and the West.
US Missile Defense Initiative goes further