From Simone Baribeau and Henry Meyer, Bloomberg: Russia wants to join in the planned U.S. missile shield in Europe with “red-button” rights to launch strikes at incoming weapons, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.
Russia, which is pursuing talks on the issue with the U.S., will only accept an agreement that allows it to have a joint role in operating the defense system, Ivanov said in an interview yesterday in Miami, two days after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington.
“We insist on only one thing: that we’re an equal part of it,” said Ivanov, a former KGB colleague of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and defense minister until 2007. “In practical terms, that means our office will sit, for example, in Brussels and agrees on a red-button push to start an anti-missile, regardless of whether it starts from Poland, Russia or the U.K.”
Russian leaders complain that the shield, which the U.S. says is needed to guard against so-called rogue states such as Iran, will blunt their country’s nuclear capability. They have warned of a new arms race within the next decade unless they can cooperate with the U.S. and its allies on missile defense. (photo: Bluewire Media)