- The Nuclear Arms Race Is Back: Russia Furious As US Launches European Ballistic Missile Shield
by Tyler Durden, www.zerohedge.com
Back in November 2008, then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev made a stark warning to NATO: “Russia will deploy Iskander missile systems in its enclave in Kaliningrad to neutralize, if necessary, the anti-ballistic missile system in Europe.“
Several years we followed up with a report that as Europe was ramping up NATO expansion, Russia may have followed through on its warning when as Bild then reported, Russia stationed missiles with a range of about 500 kilometers in its Kaliningrad enclave and along its border with the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
There was not official confirmation at the time however we expect the European ICBM theater will get hot in the coming days because as Reuters reports, the United States’ European missile defense shield goes live on Thursday almost a decade after Washington proposed protecting NATO from Iranian rockets and despite repeated Russian warnings that the West is threatening the peace in central Europe.
Amid high Russia-West tension, U.S. and NATO officials will declare operational the shield at a remote air base in Deveselu, Romania, after years of planning, billions of dollars in investment and failed attempts to assuage Russian concerns that the shield could be used against Moscow.
As a result, Reuters notes that “Russia is incensed at such of show of force by its Cold War rival in formerly communist-ruled eastern Europe where it once held sway. Moscow says the U.S.-led alliance is trying to encircle it close to the strategically important Black Sea, home to a Russian naval fleet and where NATO is also considering increasing patrols.”
Worse, the precarious nuclear balance of power in Europe has suddenly shifted, and quite dramatically: despite U.S. assurances, the Kremlin says the missile shield’s real aim is to neutralize Moscow’s nuclear arsenal long enough for the United States to make a first strike on Russia in the event of war.