Military Review

"We can start building a joint missile defense system." Deputy Secretary General of NATO on relations with the Russian Federation


NATO Deputy Secretary General ALEXANDER VERSHBOU visited Moscow. In an interview with Kommersant correspondent ELENA CHERNENKO, he told what new opportunities are opening up for the Russian Federation and the alliance after the United States abandons the fourth phase of missile defense deployment and what agreements can be adopted at the upcoming meeting of the Russia-NATO Council.

- What are the results of your trip to Moscow? After all, you came here to meet the former ambassadors of the Russian Federation and the United States, but also met with representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Defense and the Presidential Administration.

- Yes, I did arrive on the occasion of a conference of former ambassadors. But he took the opportunity to discuss relations with Russia and NATO with officials. At the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Defense and the Presidential Administration, we talked about how to deepen cooperation on Afghanistan - I believe that now this area of ​​our relations is the most productive, along with a number of successful joint projects to combat terrorism and piracy.

But what was especially important for me was that we discussed new opportunities for cooperation in the field of missile defense, which may open after the recent US declaration on missile defense.

I want to emphasize, however, that even before this statement, the facts indicated that the NATO missile defense system does not pose a threat to Russia's strategic forces. But now in this question there can definitely be no different interpretations. Therefore, we hope that in the coming months, the dialogue in this area will be activated, and we will be able to start building a joint missile defense system that would protect both NATO and Russia.

- Joint, but not one, as Moscow had previously proposed?

- We are talking about a high degree of integration of the two systems and command structures that work separately from each other. NATO is responsible for the protection of its territory, and Russia - for its defense. NATO cannot transfer these functions to anyone else, and I do not think that Russia is ready to outsource the defense of its territory. However, there is potential for the integration of the two systems. We propose the creation of two centers that would allow NATO and Russia to exchange information around the clock, including intelligence, to carry out joint planning and coordinate operations. We plan to talk about this with our Russian colleagues in the coming months.

- I still do not quite understand one aspect of the statement by Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel: is the fourth phase of the creation of the European segment of the US-NATO missile defense system canceled or postponed?

- This is a key question. And the answer is: it is canceled. Interceptors that should have been deployed during this phase - namely, SM 3 BlockII B - will no longer be developed.

- At all?

- At all. The savings will be directed to other aspects of the program, in particular, to improving the accuracy parameters of other interceptors (deployed in earlier phases. - “K”), but SM 3 BlockII B will not be created.

- But everything else remains?

- Yes, the first three phases will be deployed as planned. The second phase, I recall, implies the deployment of missile defense elements in Romania, and the third - in Poland. These plans are valid. But the most modern interceptor, which will appear in Poland, and possibly in Romania, will be SM 3 BlockII A. It can intercept short-range and medium-range missiles that can fly, say, to the UK, Norway or even Iceland, but not intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). The United States has decided to protect its territory with systems located in their own territory.

- At a conference of the Russian Defense Ministry in May last year, the Russian military tried to convince you that the interceptors deployed during the third phase may have limited intercept capability for ICBMs. Apparently, they did not convince you.

- No, not convinced. And with the cancellation of the fourth phase of the deployment of the missile defense system, the Russian arguments presented at that conference completely lose ground. However, for the time being my Russian interlocutors have told me that they have few statements in the media or even explanations from the NATO deputy secretary general and they need to discuss this topic in more detail with technical experts (laughs).

- Do I understand correctly that with the abandonment of the fourth phase in Europe, there are no elements of an American missile defense system capable of protecting the United States from an accidental launch from Russia at an early stage?

- Even the fourth phase was incapable of that. The trajectory of the Russian ICBM, aimed at the United States, even with a random launch would be beyond the reach of the NATO system. She would pass close, yes. But even the SM 3 BlockII B interceptors, if they were deployed, would always be a bit late, chasing only “behind the tail” of the Russian ICBM. And then do not forget: Russian ICBMs are located not only in the European, but also in the central part of the country and in the Far East. Most of these ICBMs do not even come close to the NATO missile defense system. In other words: we have previously considered Russian concerns groundless. And now in Europe there will be no such potential at all - only in the USA.

- Russia, however, is worried about the fact that the elements of the missile defense system, which are planned to be deployed in Europe in the first three phases of the system, are highly mobile, first of all it is about sea-based systems. Can interceptors equipped with Aegis ships appear in the waters of the Baltic and North Seas, as Moscow fears?

- Marine systems will not be equipped with interceptors more advanced than SM 3 BlockII A. Thus, they are subject to technical restrictions on intercepting ICBMs passing along a much higher trajectory than missiles designed to intercept short-range and medium-range missiles. In addition, NATO naval systems will be deployed primarily in the Mediterranean Sea - to protect the south-western part of Europe (Spain, Portugal, and so on). Of course, NATO ships may have different missions, they may be involved in other regions, if it is necessary there, for example, to protect communications by sea. But once again I want to emphasize: their technical ability to intercept ICBMs will be very limited, if not zero.

- Was the skeptic reaction of Russia to the statements of Chuck Hagel surprised you?

- No, not at all surprised. I think that after all the discussions, accusations and counter accusations in this area, it will take some time to strengthen mutual trust in any case. Therefore, we are talking about the need to intensify the dialogue both at the political and at the technical level.

- You said that the US statement opens up new opportunities for Russia and NATO. Did you mean only missile defense?

- The positive effects of this statement may be broader. Russia made it clear that further reductions in nuclear arsenals are directly related to breaking the impasse on missile defense. Accordingly, we hope that the recent US declaration on missile defense will allow us to achieve progress in this area and thus open the way to negotiations on further reduction of nuclear weapons - strategic and non-strategic. The subject of missile defense was indeed the most controversial and difficult in our relations. We hope that now relations in general will become better and we will be able to develop a truly strategic partnership, and not only on paper.

- This topic will be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the Russia-NATO Council (NRC) at the level of foreign ministers?

- Yes, it will be held on 23 on April, and I believe that, along with the Afghan theme, the issue of missile defense in the light of a recent statement by the United States will be one of the key issues on the meeting.

- As reported by “Kommersant”, at the last meeting of the NRC in December, the initiative of Germany and Poland to create a common area of ​​trust between Russia and NATO was discussed. Is this project still relevant?

- It is still relevant. Moreover, now several more countries have subscribed to it, in addition to Germany and Poland. Only seven or eight countries, including Russia. It is about greater transparency with regard to military exercises, the exchange of information, including analytical information, on the results of the exercises. That is, it is not only about greater transparency of potentials, but also strategies. Not sure, however, that this project will be finalized by the next meeting of the NRC, but negotiations are continuing.

- “Kommersant” also wrote about the idea to increase the trust fund for the maintenance of Russian helicopters purchased by the United States for the needs of the Afghan military forces. Have a solution on this?

- Discussion of this idea was successful. And I believe that such a decision can be approved and announced at the ministerial meeting in April. We are talking about expanding cooperation in the framework of the trust fund by including in it, in addition to spare parts and training Afghan technicians for servicing Mi-17 helicopters, also Mi-35 (export version of Russian Mi-24.- “Kommersant”) that are in service Afghan forces. This is a very positive example of practical cooperation between Russia and NATO, from which not only these parties benefit, but also the Afghan national forces dependent on Russian technology.

- And how much will the trust fund grow? If I understand correctly, in the first phase of the project it was $ 20 million.

- Each of the two phases of the project will cost more than $ 20 million (including financial and other contributions).

- And what happens around the transit center in Ulyanovsk? As far as I know, there was only one test flight with a NATO cargo from Afghanistan. When will this transit route work in full?

“Everything is agreed there, licensed and ready for use not only by the NATO countries, but also by all other ISAF participants who wish to import cargo into and out of Afghanistan. The point is commercial aspects. NATO countries are exploring alternative financial networks that are financially more profitable. So, for example, transit routes through Pakistan, which were closed some time ago, are now fully open again, and this is the cheapest way.

- Russian offer less profitable?

- It is more expensive. And the NATO states are looking for a better deal for less money. It’s about a very large amount of cargo - tens of thousands of containers. Accordingly, prices must be competitive, this is a business.

- Recently, the Russian side declared its readiness to use one of its ports in its transport network.

- In the Baltic Sea, yes. This is one of the options discussed, but even here everything will depend on how commercially profitable this is compared to other available ways. If Russia makes a good offer, it can achieve its stake in this business (laughs).

- In the autumn, “Kommersant” also reported that Russia and NATO are preparing an agreement on cooperation on the disposal of obsolete ammunition and weapons. At what stage are the negotiations in this area?

- Now this topic is being discussed by experts from both sides. We are talking about the demilitarization, disposal of obsolete ammunition, which pose a risk to both people and the environment. So far I can not say when we will come to a specific agreement in this area. First you need to solve a few technical and political issues. But I got the impression that both parties are interested in such cooperation. We expect that this will be another area of ​​successful practical cooperation, and the exchange of experience and technology will bring concrete benefits to the citizens of the Russian Federation.

- Is there potential for cooperation with Russia in the framework of the reform of NATO forces launched last year under the slogan Smart Defense? In Moscow, as far as I know, they hope that the NATO countries will, within the framework of this initiative (aimed, among other things, at cost savings), acquire the Russian military equipment, for example, Mi-26 helicopters.

“We are still working on our plans and internal procedures.” But at the NATO summit in Chicago, a political decision was made that this initiative should be open to the participation of partner countries. Russia is a very important partner of NATO. The forms of cooperation with it may be different, but first we need to resolve some procedural issues within the alliance.

- Within the framework of Smart Defense, NATO will also carry out projects in the field of cyber security. As Kommersant recently reported, Russia has offered cooperation to the alliance in this area. The proposal included a joint threat analysis, exchange of experience in protecting critical infrastructure facilities and an assessment of the likelihood of cyber weapons in the hands of terrorists. But NATO refused. Why?

- For two reasons. First, NATO itself is only at the early stage of developing its own responses to cyber threats. So far we have only agreed that the key task should be to increase the security of our computer networks and systems. And secondly, we still do not understand how in this area to interact with countries that are not members of the alliance and do not have access to our information, this is a sensitive issue.

It will take time to look for a platform for dialogue between Russia and NATO in this area. But there are indeed many threats in cyberspace. The same Russian hackers are considered among the most advanced (laughs). This is a complex topic. At the same time, our states and economies face the same risks. I believe that someday we will be able to jointly discuss these threats, although we will most likely be responding to them separately.
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  1. dmitreach
    dmitreach April 2 2013 06: 20
    The same Faberge, side view.
    Well: if we are cooperating, it means we are cooperating ... there are enough officials for the IDB with NADO, in Russia.
    I wonder how there poplars grow in Brussels?
    1. Норд
      Норд April 2 2013 12: 27
      Are you, dear, are you going to work with Vershbow & Company?
      Let the goat into the garden ... Few of them frolic in our beds in the 90s? They fucked their trash garden, botanists, and now they’re climbing with offers — let's cultivate cabbage together ...
      Her. Protect me from such "friends", and I will deal with the enemies myself.
      1. dmitreach
        dmitreach April 2 2013 14: 57
        yes her ...
        I mean: whatever the official would amuse, if only it is NECESSARY to care for poplars. nothing was planted or what?
      2. Quiet
        Quiet April 2 2013 18: 34
        Let the goat into the garden wassat

        These "well-wishers", if they are allowed to develop our missile defense programs, SO will dirtiest with viruses that when launched, our missiles will fly at us !!! ... There was a precedent when, during the construction of gas pipelines during the Soviet era, they (specially) laid down errors in the computer programs. As a result, it turned into explosions and perished RUSSIAN PEOPLE. As Stanislavsky said "I DO NOT BELIEVE" !!!!! am
        1. Kostya pedestrian
          Kostya pedestrian April 3 2013 15: 38
          You wanted to say "rowdy?" Let a demonstrative comradely court set up, so to speak, show their Euro-commissar side of the NKVD, for example, let their Waffens be squeezed in Latvia, otherwise in Budyonnovka on the Day of Latvian Riflemen you want to walk around Riga - and their laws do not order!
    2. Geisenberg
      Geisenberg April 3 2013 00: 47
      This deputy chairman is unclear who is incomprehensible from whom. What do you just talk to him about? After all, he lies through the word. Pronounces only facts confirmed from other sources, and on other issues evades.
  2. smel
    smel April 2 2013 06: 35
    Oh, how much hypocrisy and lies. I hope that, if necessary, we will overcome all obstacles
    1. esaul
      esaul April 2 2013 07: 32
      Salute, Pavel hi
      Quote: smel
      Oh how much hypocrisy and lies

      as well as fear and fears that the train will move on, but without them, my beloved ... Forced budget cuts and impending financial storms put a question mark on the power and permissiveness of NATO. And this is scary for them ... belay
      1. alexng
        alexng April 2 2013 08: 33
        Quote: esaul
        Forced budget cuts and impending financial storms pose a question mark on NATO's power and permissiveness. And this is scary for them ...

        But even in a state of agony, they are still trying to dictate something. The hypocrisy of the West has no limits. Even when they ask for help, they want it to look like a boon to those who are determined to help them, i.e. already beggars, but still behave as if they were chosen. One who has appointed himself to be one cannot be elected. It turns out that put the pig under the table, and they climb onto the table. This all applies to the entire western world. In short, they are pigs and pigs all over the world.
    2. hommer
      hommer April 2 2013 07: 38
      Quote: smel
      Oh, how much hypocrisy and lies.

      And what to expect from Vershbow?

      A former ambassador to Russia, he has such a moment in his biography - in 1991-1993 he was the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States and Chargé d'Affaires of the US Mission to NATO, responsible for establishing relations of cooperation with the countries of the former Warsaw Pact.

      In short, he is still a cooperation specialist.
      His interview can be interpreted as follows - with the money bubble, you have to do a good face with a bad game.
    3. andrejwz
      andrejwz April 2 2013 09: 04
      Quote: smel
      Oh, how much hypocrisy and lies.

      Exactly as much as we deserve. We agreed to play by their rules and speak their language. And words about the partnership between Russia and NATO from our televisions poured from the 90s.
      And everything is simple, it must be said bluntly that the North Atlantic Alliance, created to protect the participating countries, is in fact a military organization created to carry out acts of intimidation and destruction of states that threaten the economic interests of the alliance countries. Here is such a militant organization of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, essentially terrorism on a global scale.
      Go to such partners?
  3. svp67
    svp67 April 2 2013 06: 36
    Our relations with NATO must be built only in the aspect of our own interests and not otherwise. As long as the US is a member of NATO, Russia has reasons to look askance at the "European" missile defense system. I wonder how the states would behave to create such a missile defense system Venezuela or Cuba?
  4. Budilnik
    Budilnik April 2 2013 07: 11
    Missile defense in Europe was a distraction. Why a stationary missile defense if there are dozens of missile defense ships equipped with the Aegis system. which can be brought over 2oo km to our shores at any point. unfortunately our politicians and generals pecked at it especially the bear cat with particular stubbornness spoke about the opening of our bases with a paper with an agreement on the non-use of the alleged pro against Russia. I am surprised at the general talents of our generals. overlooked the development trends about
  5. fenix57
    fenix57 April 2 2013 07: 13
    Again blah .. blah ... And against whom will this joint missile defense be directed. Probably against the threat of terrorism, which the United States itself sponsors. Ah-ah, North Korea is also the same, well, yes .... Believe amers, do not respect yourself. hi
    1. esaul
      esaul April 2 2013 07: 35
      Quote: fenix57
      ... And against whom will this joint missile defense be directed

      Salute, namesake hi
      As it was repeatedly here at the forum, it was hinted that with the increasing Arctic ambitions of everyone who wants to share the Arctic pie, it’s against penguins ... It is possible. wassat
  6. engineer74
    engineer74 April 2 2013 07: 45
    "The recent US announcement on missile defense will enable us to make progress in this area and thus pave the way for negotiations on further reductions in nuclear weapons - strategic and non-strategic."
    How did the children themselves come up with the European missile defense system, they themselves refused (partially), and Russia should go to reduce strategic offensive arms and nuclear weapons? They themselves are not funny? fool
    1. Quiet
      Quiet April 2 2013 18: 46
      They themselves are not funny laughing

      They just laugh at us, considering Russia an idiot (Apparently humpbacked as the main consultant sings songs to them), and they, like small children, are trying to create a new world map where they will dominate using the lego game. THEM HAS STARTED AGONIA (with which I congratulate all those present) hi lol
  7. horoh
    horoh April 2 2013 07: 47
    I don’t know, maybe they will make me feel bad, but in the current relations with the geyropa, and especially from the United States, a joint missile defense project is somehow not needed.
  8. Egoza
    Egoza April 2 2013 08: 10
    "the initiative of Germany and Poland to create a" Common Space of Trust "between Russia and NATO.
    Well, they made fun! The space of trust will shrink very quickly, give only the will of NATO. Let them first remember the NATO non-proliferation treaty to the east, and then they talk about trust!
  9. Ragnarek
    Ragnarek April 2 2013 08: 12
    And on a fig to us together with them? we will build more Topol and let them rub off their pro
    1. sergius60
      sergius60 April 3 2013 18: 56
      No, not more "Poplar". Installation of Bulava-type warheads. In fact, they are hypersonic maneuvering mesospheric bombers. Disposable, really. request
  10. fenix57
    fenix57 April 2 2013 08: 33
    Quote: esaul
    it was hinted that with the increasing arctic ambitions of all who wanted to share the Arctic pie, it was against penguins ... It is possible

    Valery, welcome. It’s better to forget about the 3,14ndos about the Arctic. Let them go to the Antarctic, where their future friends (Ukraine) have found oil. Here and let them share ... hi
  11. pinecone
    pinecone April 2 2013 08: 38
    They are keenly interested in technical developments on missile defense to familiarize themselves, compare, borrow.
  12. Dwarfik
    Dwarfik April 2 2013 08: 50
    Kind! I believe that cooperation is unacceptable on this issue, there is no country against which we need to be friends with amers! China is not mature and will not grow! The implementation of a joint missile defense eliminates our nuclear weapons as the kind to shoot at — all of our kind! Disagree! Amers never offer something together not out of selfish motives!
  13. Apollo
    Apollo April 2 2013 09: 50
    Regarding the title and content of the article.

    US violates missile destruction treaty

    The Russian Defense Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are closely monitoring the launches of American medium-range ballistic missiles (BRRS), which are carried out as part of missile defense system tests. Thus, the United States violates the law on the destruction of medium and shorter-range ballistic missiles.

    "Those target missiles launched by the Americans fall under the treaty... This work is carried out at the level of the Foreign Ministry. We are not leaving this topic. We understand why the Americans are carrying out these launches, "Interfax quotes Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the Defense Ministry's department for monitoring the implementation of international treaties.

    Alexander Vershbow, so who are you trying to hang noodles ?!
  14. avt
    avt April 2 2013 10: 12
    ,, Oh, you're lying! You're lying to the Tsar " laughing
  15. amp
    amp April 2 2013 10: 17
    I remember under Clinton they invited us to take part in the creation of missile defense by providing them with our missiles as targets. ))))

    Never believe the USA !!
  16. Dart weyder
    Dart weyder April 2 2013 10: 20
    mlyn, guys - what do they mean by "random launch of ICBMs !?" belay these contracts do not like something, they always lie and deceive how much you can step on this rake! ???
  17. fenix57
    fenix57 April 2 2013 11: 47
    If the Americans spread smoothly, then wait for the catch. After all, they have:
  18. 120352
    120352 April 2 2013 11: 57
    Do not flatter yourself, gentlemen. You are again confused to drive by the nose! Do not waste time talking idly.
  19. imperiolist
    imperiolist April 2 2013 12: 10
    just like that, for sweet pin songs, Russia got it with a drunk tennis player at the helm for bucks destroying Soviet submarines, ships and missiles. I hope we are not as stupefied now as then ..
  20. afire
    afire April 2 2013 12: 23
    We can start .....
    we discussed new features .....
    may open ....
    We are talking about.....
    NATO is responsible for protecting its territory, and Russia - for its defense.
    NATO cannot ....
    will be one of the key on the agenda .....
    Therefore, we are talking about the need ....
    And so the whole text!
    Friends is fiction? I think not and neither of them nor the more we will not cross the line of violation of the defense of our state for the sake of some advantageous conditions for them, as was done previously for 20 years!
    I hope the wise heads on our part will remain wise and will not go to the false calls of these zamarashki
  21. taseka
    taseka April 2 2013 13: 04
    "We can" - and you are not can, and do it already in 2014 year! What is the use of throwing us with their double standards? In my time could not, and entered the soft body of Poland, Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, etc.
    Vulgar political hypocrites! You no longer believe ddaaavvvnnnoooo !!!
  22. Olegovi4
    Olegovi4 April 2 2013 15: 05
    And not a word about why it is needed at all (well, there is Iran and other enemies). Just a discussion of our rockets.
  23. lechatormosis
    lechatormosis April 2 2013 16: 51
    why the hell do we cooperate with crooks.
    THEY ARE SHOEING CYPRUS according to the full program - Robbed the contributions of our thieves in the law there.
    XE XE laughter and sin - rogue - bandit wants to cooperate with us fellow
  24. Navy7981
    Navy7981 April 2 2013 20: 43
    I wonder what the catch is? Amer or lazhanulsya with their missile defense, or something else, but in any scenario they lie. Believe them can not be a penny.
  25. PSih2097
    PSih2097 April 3 2013 00: 22
    "We can start building a joint missile defense system." Deputy Secretary General of NATO on relations with the Russian Federation

    Nobody ever spoke on equal terms with us (contrary to the national policy, all relations went from us), I think scam here too, and 100% ... As one Emperor of the Russian Empire (who was lemongrassed by the way buried) said Russia has no allies, except the Army and Navy ... Our medical deputies did not remember this for a long time, and I think they were inspired from the beginning by deposits in the West, then the corpse of Gaddafi and, finally, expropriation in Cyprus ...
  26. avkeys
    avkeys April 3 2013 01: 26
    Cooperation with NATO can be justified, say, in the face of the threat of an attack by aliens. But it seems to me that at the crucial moment the dogs will choose aliens
  27. a jacket
    a jacket April 3 2013 21: 03
    Quote: Navy7981
    I wonder what the catch is?

    And how do you check what type of missiles are on the warship of a potential enemy hanging out near neutral waters?