Two Warnings From Moscow On the Strategic Significance of NATO's BMD System
May 7, 2014 • 6:15PM

Cutting to the chase, two Russian deputy ministers yesterday issued renewed warnings about the strategic significance of the U.S.-NATO BMD system. Deputy Defense Minister for international military cooperation Sergei Koshelev told ITAR-Tass on Tuesday:

"Unfortunately, we should state that our NATO partners actually refuse an expert dialogue on missile defense, replacing it with populist slogans. This situation and NATO leadership's recent statements only make us more certain that the ABM system is an anti-Russian capability, which will only grow stronger in time."

SEE: Advanced Placement BMD Systems Encircle Russia

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov meanwhile told RIA Novosti:

"We feel the symptoms of the work in various segments of the ABM system being intensified. . . And those symptoms are more frequent than they used to be. This proves our initial concerns that the system in its final form is designed to block not only limited threats, as it was claimed. To a much greater degree it will be formed, designed and built to try and devalue the Russian strategic nuclear deterrent potential."

Both RIA Novosti and Russia Today round out their coverage of these statements by referring to the deployment of the Aegis system on the USS Donald Cook.

"The European AMD system made a new step in mid-April after the US Navy decided to deploy the second generation of the Standard Missile-3 Block IB missile, interceptor projectiles that are part of the anti-missile shield."

According to a Congressional Research Service report dated Oct. 17, 2013, the Aegis system with the Block IB missile interceptor doesn't have the capability to intercept ICBM's, but it does have the ability to detect and track ballistic missiles at long ranges. The Block IIA missile is to rectify this deficiency with a "limited" capability to intercept ICBM's. The Block IIA isn't due to come on line until 2018, when the Polish Aegis installation is scheduled to be completed, but then, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and his Polish counterpart Tomasz Semoniak have recently discussed accelerating that deployment in the face of the alleged threat coming from Russia.

SEE: Russia's Warnings Concerning NATO and BMD Systems