Russia's nuclear shield could collapse in three years

Russia's nuclear shield could collapse in three yearsOn Thursday in the Moscow press center "Rosbalt" a political club meeting was held on the topic "Euro missile defense: threats and risks for Russia and possible measures to counter them." As the discussion showed, among Russian military experts there is not yet a unanimous opinion on how our country should respond to the situation around the negotiations on the European anti-missile defense system.

Russian officials have argued that negotiations on Russia's participation in the European missile defense system being created by the United States and NATO have actually reached an impasse. The West categorically does not want to give any legally binding guarantees that this system will not pose a threat to our country. Meanwhile, according to the estimates of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, starting from 2015, the European missile defense configuration will become a definite threat to Russian strategic nuclear forces, which will only increase in the future.

According to Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of the magazine National Defense, Russia should think hard about neutralizing the threats posed by the European missile defense system being created by the United States and NATO. According to the expert, the Russian military believes that, starting with 2015, "the configuration of the European missile defense system will pose a threat to Russia in terms of intercepting part of sea-based and land-based missiles."

Therefore, according to Korotchenko, firstly, “Russia needs to increase the rate of receipt of new solid-fuel ballistic missiles such as the RS 24“ Yars ”and“ Bulava ”into the troops. Secondly,“ give a signal to western partners that Russia will not lead negotiations to reduce tactical nuclear weapons without achieving real negotiations in the field of Euro PRO. "And finally, it is necessary to develop a military-political partnership with Belarus.

“Considering that President Lukashenko and Prime Minister Putin expressed the same position on the creation of the Eurasian Union, there are expectations that the moments that hampered the Russian-Belarusian partnership will be removed. A base is being created to think about how to fend off possible threats,” the expert noted. In his opinion, “the arms race and the cold war are not needed by anyone, but on the issue of missile defense it is necessary to clearly pursue acceptable agreements and to take the necessary compensatory measures.”

According to the director of the Institute of Political and Military Analysis, Alexander Sharavin, the negotiations between Russia and the United States on missile defense have not reached an impasse. “I see no reason to say this,” noted Sharavin, “the work is on, the deadlines have not yet come out.” According to him, the work of experts and diplomats is quite fruitful, and talks that the negotiation process has stalled "this is an informational stuffing" in order to put pressure on the negotiating partners. “The Russian and American sides are engaged in this,” the expert said.

By the way, this is clearly demonstrated by the statements that the representatives of Russia and the USA make from time to time. So, earlier, US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher said that Washington was ready to confirm in writing the peaceful nature of the future missile defense system in Europe. True, she said, the United States cannot give legally binding guarantees.

The restart architect and then future US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul spoke about the same thing at the hearings in the US Senate. He acknowledged that disagreements between Washington and Moscow make it impossible to reach a compromise on missile defense at the RF-NATO summit in May 2012. In response to this, Russia's permanent representative to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said that negotiations between Russia and the United States on missile defense were completely deadlocked. According to him, Moscow will not make concessions, risking its own security. Rogozin made it clear to the Americans that in this case the Russian president would still think about the appropriateness of his presence at the summit in Chicago.

Meanwhile, Russian expert Alexander Sharavin believes that decisions on some issues in the area of ​​cooperation on Euro missile defense between the Russian Federation and the United States have been achieved. As an example, he cites a decision on the creation of an Information Exchange Center, a decision on the exchange of sensitive technologies in the field of anti-missile defense, a decision on the creation of a response center for missile launches, in which the Russian and American military will work on an equal basis. "I have a low opinion about the technical prospects of missile defense, but this does not mean that Russia and the United States should not cooperate in this sphere," Sharavin concluded.

However, Konstantin Makienko, deputy director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, has a different opinion. According to him, compromises between Russia and the United States on European missile defense are unattainable. “Russia and the United States have a clash of fundamental national interests. From the moment when the US military-political establishment found security vulnerability in the country’s mid-century, the US’s strategic goal was to counter this vulnerability. So an attempt to create a missile defense is an attempt to return in the status quo until the creation of the USSR nuclear missile shield, "Makienko believes.

In his opinion, "these attempts were, are and will be, and work on missile defense will not stop under any circumstances." "Exactly also for Russia, the work to preserve the effectiveness of the nuclear deterrent forces is a fundamental national interest and Russia will do everything to keep the United States in check," the expert said.

Another participant of the round table held in Rosbalt, head of the defense policy department of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Grigory Tishchenko, agrees with this opinion. According to him, the world once again entered the era of colonial wars, and this is confirmed by the "installations adopted in the field of military construction." "In the conditions when the United States and NATO are pursuing a course on the use of armed force for any reason," the idea of ​​missile defense is not subject to revision, the expert is sure.

At the same time, Viktor Litovkin, editor-in-chief of the Independent Military Review weekly, believes that the American missile defense system is not so terrible for Russia, as is customary to say. "Around the missile defense system there are a lot of problems and various kinds of horror stories, but no one knows what will really happen in 2020 and how the missile defense project will develop," Litovkin noted.

He cited the example of the famous Strategic Defense Initiative - the “Strategic Defense Initiative” of US President Ronald Reagan. The long-term R & D program announced in March of 1983, the main purpose of which was to create a scientific and technical reserve for the development of a large-scale missile defense system with space-based elements, then very much frightened the Soviet leadership. However, in reality, everything turned out to be just a “wiring” to increase funds for the arms race.

“By investing in ABM, Americans are investing in new technologies, at the same time they are depleting Russia's resources,” Litovkin said. “I don’t think that the European missile defense, which is planned to be deployed near the Russian borders before 2015, seriously threatens Russia's strategic nuclear forces. It’s another thing to develop our own weapon system. Today, both the US and NATO are very sensitive to losses. I dream that nuclear warheads will rip over their cities. They will not start a war. They just have money and invest it in an "anti-missile fence." But we must understand that he will never really threaten us, "concluded Viktor Litovkin.

And yet, all the participants in the discussion at Rosbalt agree on one thing: Russia has missiles capable of overcoming missile defense, and Russia has all the necessary resources and technical capabilities to create an European missile defense system on an equal footing with the American side.
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