Vladimir Kara-Murza - on American missile defense in Spain


In The Edges of Time: American political scientist Viktor Kremenyuk and international journalist Boris Tumanov.
Spain agreed to deploy on its territory elements of a NATO missile defense system. On Wednesday, October 5, at a press conference in Brussels, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero announced that by the year 2013 4 of the American ship with missile-interceptor installations would be deployed at the Rota naval base in the south of the country. The commentary by the Russian Foreign Ministry, published on Thursday, 6 October, on the agency’s website, notes that a substantial increase in the potential of the American missile defense system in Europe deprives the parties of a chance to turn missile defense from confrontation into a subject of cooperation.


Vladimir Kara-Murza: The Russian Foreign Ministry called unacceptable the decision of the US authorities to deploy a missile defense system off the coast of Spain without taking into account the views of all interested countries.
In the comments of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the agreement between the USA and Spain on basing the territory of the last four ships with the SM-3 antimissiles and the missile control system weapons Aegis says: "If events continue to develop in this way, the chance created by the Russia-NATO Lisbon Summit to turn missile defense from confrontation into a subject of cooperation will be lost."
On the eve of the administration of Barack Obama has reached an agreement on the deployment of Aegis Cruiser ships off the coast of Spain as part of the installation of a missile defense system in Europe. According to official representatives of the department, the United States wants to secure a permanent presence in the Mediterranean, as well as to protect the east coast of the Atlantic.

The United States and NATO have repeatedly stated that Moscow can be calm, since missile defense is not directed against Russia. US officials insist that the main goal of the missile defense system is to protect against missile threats from countries such as Iran. It is planned that the deployment of the NATO European missile defense system will be completed in 2018 year.
Does the Kremlin’s diplomacy have reason to resent the deployment of a US missile defense system in Spain? We talk about this with Viktor Kremenyuk, Deputy Director of the Institute of the USA and Canada of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Boris Tumanov, an international journalist. Does the unfriendly for Russia character of the deployment of a missile defense system off the coast of Spain?

Victor Kremenyuk: I do not know, because I observe the situation from the outside, I do not work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The motives that guided the Ministry are not completely clear to me. Apparently, the team above, on which it announced the unacceptability of this action, that it is unfriendly. I think that there is a complex of extraneous considerations that all the time make our position very tough, inflexible and potentially losing. Because we are not asked, we are not directly concerned with the agreement between Spain and the United States. We can protest as much as we want. But it may well be that no one pays any attention to these protests.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Does the selection of the missile defense system Spain look like an unexpected choice?

Boris Tumanov: You know, I am not an expert in geo-strategy, but, to be honest, for me it became a fact that surprised me. Not in the sense of condemnation or greeting, I just tried to put myself in the place of American strategists, to understand why in Spain, why, let's say, not to return to Germany or the same Poland, not to be content with Romania. In this case, I think, first of all, we are talking about ships - this is not some kind of anti-missile defense battery, and so on. Frankly, I myself do not understand why the Americans need it, given that they have excellent opportunities to prevent any missile attack from the side, as you said and said our Foreign Ministry, like Iran. But so far Iran has somehow not made any missiles capable of reaching the United States of America. Europeans in this case is also a contrast that surprises me a little, Europeans look at all these actions of Americans, Europeans look at this nervous, exaggerated nervous reaction of Moscow with almost absolute indifference. They are absolutely not concerned with what the Americans are doing, or how Moscow reacts to it, as if it really does not only concern them, but that it does not matter, it is not significant. It surprises me.

Vladimir Kara-Murza: Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent military commentator, ironically perceives the Kremlin’s diplomatic demarche.

Pavel Felgenhauer: This is not dangerous for Russia at all. And in principle, can not be dangerous. Because it is a purely defensive system, it can only be dangerous for those who attack Europe from Spain. And, as they say, it cannot hurt any Russian missiles, while in Spain. In general, all this is false Russian propaganda, as in the days of the Cold War.
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