Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Medvedev: Missiles to Polish Border

Russia will deploy missiles near NATO member Poland in response to U.S. missile defense plans, President Dmitry Medvedev said Wednesday in his first state of the nation speech.

Medvedev also singled out the United States for criticism, casting Russia's war with Georgia in August and the global financial turmoil as consequences of aggressive, selfish U.S. policies.

He said he hoped the next U.S. administration would act to improve relations. In a separate telegram, he congratulated Barack Obama on his election victory and said he was hoping for "constructive dialogue" with the incoming U.S. president.

Medvedev also proposed increasing the Russian presidential term to six years from the current four, a major constitutional change that would further increase the power of the head of state and could deepen Western concern over democracy in Russia.

The president said the Iskander missiles will be deployed to Russia's Kaliningrad region, which lies between Poland and the ex-Soviet republic of Lithuania on the Baltic Sea, but did not say how many would be used. Equipment to electronically hamper the operation of prospective U.S. missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic will be deployed, he said.

He did not say whether the short-range Iskander missiles would be fitted with nuclear warheads and it was not clear exactly when the missiles would be deployed.

Russia will certainly be a challenge for President Obama. My wife thinks that Putin is salivating. I have some commentary on the election for later.


Zach said...

Yup. Russia is definately testing its limits here. I hope that Obama comes down hard on them.

Anonymous said...

oil's at $65/bbl. global recession drops demand. the floor is around $35/bbl. easiest thing in the world to wait out Medvedev.

it's also the most prudent, because why on Earth would you want to immediately react against a second-rate power which so clearly wants to get inside your decision loop? a pat on the head and a "we'll get back to you" is the right move here.


Will Baird said...

My worry over Medvedev:Putin isn't over their damage to the US. That's pretty pathetic unless Russia lobs nukes and those will be much, much less than what we'd smack them with, even if it was still lose-lose. My concern is that my in-laws are sitting near the Ukrainian-Russian border and Russia has started passing out passports now in the whole of Ukraine for anyone that wants them (has to be a Russian speaker though).

While I don't think there'd be a lot of resistance to the Russians in Gorlovka or the Donbass in general, it's still a horrifying thought as to what would happen if Russia tried banging their pea sized brass ones together again.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why no one pays attention to Russia's national interests. NATO, BMD, Central Asia, etc. What US would do if Nicaragua, Cuba, Mexico, etc. entered NATO-bis with RF dominant role?

BTW. Mr Medvedev said he would do it "if" the Poland's part of BMD were not resolved according to Russia's interest. It is one of the more important word in the language of diplomacy.

No more one polar world! Never ever! :)


Will Baird said...

Hola P2O2:

I happen to disagree that Russia is acting in its own interests. I happen to think that it is making some terrible long term mistakes.

Anonymous said...


If Russia isn't workig on her own national interest then it means she acts against herself or that she works on someone's else behalf.

You know something I am not aware of? ;)


Will Baird said...

Welcome back again, P202!

I don't have any special knowledge, just a little read on the subject....and, of course, my own opinions that are probably worth a cent (1/4 ruble) more than you paid for them. That said...

I think that the elite in Russia are looking out for themselves in the short term only and neglecting their long term reality. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that their ego and their personal pocketbooks have been driving force for the government officials: so little has been done about corruption instead of rattling their collective rusty sword.

Russia has - had? - a window which it could have integrated itself with Europe. Reduce its military spending, end conscription, squash corruption, and become the energy source, and an important science/technology source, especially for aircraft, space, programming and math. Above all, don't beat the chest, though, and seem like you are trying to make the impression of the Darth Vaderesque Soviet Union all over again.

Russia has a bleak future if the world kicks the oil habit, or even if the oil remains cheap for a few years the Russian economy will implode badly. In fact, other than the oil and retail what else HAS grown in the Russian economy?

Furthermore, the demographics just plain suck: 1.4 for a TFR does not a replacement level make.

Within Europe, they would have been a key player for a long, long time...instead now its isolating itself with the belief that it is going to be a major player in the long run.

Russia isn't the Soviet Union. Or even close.