Russia threatens to walk out of nuke arms pacts with US

Russia said if the deployment of the European missile shield goes ahead without providing legally-binding guaranties to that it will not target its strategic nuclear assets, Moscow will walk out of all nuclear arms control pacts.

"I have ordered the Defence Ministry to immediately operationalise the missile attack early warning radar in Kaliningrad (Baltic Enclave)," Medvedev announced in a special televised statement in the wake of failure of his recent talks at Honolulu with US President Barack Obama.

He declared that Russia will deploy its state-of-the-art short range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad and other regions close to the Russian borders to target US-controlled European Missile Defence installations, if the talks ultimately fail, for which the Kremlin is 'still keeping doors open'.

Moscow views the US missile shield, allegedly to counter 'rogue' missile attacks from Iran and North Korea, as mortal danger to Russia's nuclear deterrence. Besides deployment of early warning radar in Kaliningrad in NATO's backyard, Medvedev has also announced several steps to boost the nuclear security, which include tightening the protection of strategic land and sea based assets by Aerospace Defence, providing the military and navy with warheads capable of deceiving US missile shield, electronic countermeasures to jeopardise US missile shield command.

"Russia will deploy, if necessary, offensive weaponry in the southern and western parts of the country to target elements of the US-backed European missile shield. "If the measures listed are not be sufficient, Russia will deploy in the west and the south of the country advanced offensive weapons systems which will target the European component of the US missile defence network," Medvedev said.

He said there was still time to work out a mutually acceptable agreement by Washington and Moscow and the steps announced by him will be taken if the situation demanded.

"In case of unfavourable development of situation Russia reserves the right to refuse from further steps in the field of disarmament and arms control," Medvedev announced. He underscored that the START-II treaty signed in April 2010 by him with Obama provides for Russia walking out of it as the offensive and defensive weapons were interlinked.

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