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Putin warns Russia will respond to Nato missile shield

Published 13/05/2016

The missile defence site in Deveselu, Romania, has angered Russia (AP)
The missile defence site in Deveselu, Romania, has angered Russia (AP)

President Vladimir Putin has described the development of Nato's US-led missile defence programme as a threat to global security and vowed that Russia will take the necessary steps to maintain a strategic parity.

Mr Putin, speaking at a meeting with military officials, scoffed at US claims that the shield is not aimed against Russia but instead intended to fend off a missile threat from Iran.

The system includes a site in Romania that became operational on Thursday and a site in northern Poland where US and Polish officials broke ground on Friday for a facility due to be ready in 2018.

"Just a few years ago, our partners in the West, in Europe and the United States, were all speaking in one voice, telling us that they need a missile defence system to protect from missile and nuclear threats from Iran," Mr Putin said, adding that such a threat has ceased to exist after last year's nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

"The threat is gone, but the creation of the missile defence system is continuing."

Mr Putin said Russia "will do everything needed to ensure and preserve the strategic balance, which is the most reliable guarantee from large-scale military conflicts", but will not get drawn into an arms race.

Earlier this week, Colonel General Sergei Karakayev, chief of the Russian military's Strategic Missile Forces, said new types of Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles accelerate faster and are equipped with manoeuvrable warheads, making them more difficult to intercept.

In another potential response, the military has talked about stationing its state-of-the art Iskander missiles to Russia's westernmost Baltic outpost of Kaliningrad, which borders Nato members Poland and Lithuania.

Last year, the missiles were airlifted there during military manoeuvres in a demonstration of their swift deployment capability, but were pulled back to their permanent base after the drills.

The Iskander missiles, which have a range of up to 300 miles, would put most of Poland in reach if deployed from the Kaliningrad region.

Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister in charge of military industries, said after the meeting with MrPutin that Russia will use technologies that would allow it to "neutralise any threat with minimal resources." He did not elaborate.

Russia has long described the US-led missile shield as a top security challenge. Russian military officials have said while the current system does not pose a threat to Russia's massive nuclear missile force, it could erode the nation's nuclear deterrent when it grows more powerful in the future.

"They aren't defensive systems, they are part of the US strategic nuclear potential deployed on the periphery, in eastern Europe," MrPutin said. "Now, after the deployment of those missile defence elements, we will have to think about how we can fend off the threats to the Russian Federation's security."

Russian Su-27 jet fighters and MIG 29 jet fighters fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Russian Su-27 jet fighters and MIG 29 jet fighters fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Russian servicewomen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. AFP/Getty Images
Russian servicemen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian soldiers march during the Victory Day parade (AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, stands with WWII veterans during the Victory Day military parade marking 71 years after the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian servicemen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian soldiers march during the Victory Day military parade marking 71 years after the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian servicemen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian T-14 Armata tanks roll at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian servicewomen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian soldiers march during the Victory Day military parade marking 71 years after the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2016. In the back is the State Historical Museum. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian Su-27 jet fighters and MIG 29 jet fighters fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) attends the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
A Russian military band performs at Red Square during the Victory Day parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian soldiers march during the Victory Day military parade marking 71 years after the victory in WWII in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2016. In the back is the State Historical Museum. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles roll at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
A Russian Buk-M2 surface-to-air missile system rolls at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
An elderly WWII veteran walks with flowers past soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine, who are lined up to maintain order at the Unknown Soldier monument in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9, 2016, during Victory Day celebrations to commemorate the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany. / AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOVGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images
Kyrgyz servicemen march at the Eternal Flame monument during Victory Day celebrations in Bishkek on May 9, 2016. Kyrgyzstan marks the 71st anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKOVYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images
Kyrgyz honour guard soldiers lay a wreath at the Eternal Flame monument during Victory Day celebrations in Bishkek on May 9, 2016. Kyrgyzstan marks the 71st anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / VYACHESLAV OSELEDKOVYACHESLAV OSELEDKO/AFP/Getty Images
Ukrainian activists, surrounded by riot police hold nationalists flag and shout slogans next to the Unknown Soldier monument in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9, 2014 during celebration of the Victory Day. / AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOVGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images
Ukrainian activists, surrounded by riot police hold nationalists flag and shout slogans next to the Unknown Soldier monument in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9, 2014 during celebration of the Victory Day. / AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOVGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images
Crimea's Chief Prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya (C) carries an icon with a portrait of the last Russian tsar Nicholas II as she takes part in the Immortal Regiment march during the Victory Day celebrations in Simferopol, Crimea, on May 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Max VetrovMAX VETROV/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Russian servicemen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Members of a military band take a selfie picture at the Unknown Soldier Tomb memorial in Tbilisi on May 9, 2016, during Victory Day celebrations. Georgia and and ex-Soviet republics mark the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / Vano ShlamovVANO SHLAMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin (3rd L) and Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev (2nd L) attend the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Veterans and other people attend festivities as Latvia's large Russian minority gathered to mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Second World War during Victory Day celebrations at the Soviet Victory Monument in Riga, Latvia, on May 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Ilmars ZnotinsILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images
Veterans and other people attend festivities as Latvia's large Russian minority gathered to mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Second World War during Victory Day celebrations at the Soviet Victory Monument in Riga, Latvia, on May 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Ilmars ZnotinsILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images
An old photograph sticks between flowers laid down at the Soviet Victory Monument in Riga on May 9, 2016, as Latvia's large Russian minority gathered to mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Second World War during Victory Day celebrations. / AFP PHOTO / Ilmars ZnotinsILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images
Russian servicemen march at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Veterans and other people attend festivities as Latvia's large Russian minority gathered to mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Second World War during Victory Day celebrations at the Soviet Victory Monument in Riga, Latvia, on May 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Ilmars ZnotinsILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images
A veteran attends festivities as Latvia's large Russian minority gathered to mark the 71st anniversary of the end of the Second World War during Victory Day celebrations at the Soviet Victory Monument in Riga, Latvia, on May 9, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Ilmars ZnotinsILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images
Russian military planes fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade marking 71 years after the victory in WWII in Moscow, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Tupolev Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers fly over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian T-90A tanks roll at Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian Su-25 assault aircrafts release smoke in the colours of the Russian flag while flying over Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOVVASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian servicemen take part in the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
World War Two veterans wait before watching the Victory Day military parade at Red Square in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
Russian servicemen march at Red Square before the start of the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2016. Russia marks the 71st anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVKIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images
A boy with toy-mashinegun holds a flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic during the Victory Day parade in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
People attend the Victory Day parade of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
People take part in the Immortal Regiment march during the Victory Day parade of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
Grad rocket launchers of pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic ride during the Victory Day parade in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
Pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic march during the Victory Day parade in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
Tanks of Pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic ride during the Victory Day parade in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
Pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic sit atop an APC during the Victory Day parade in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
A woman pushes a go-cart next to a Grad rocket launcher of pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic during the Victory Day parade in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
Grad rocket launchers of pro-Russian separatists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic ride during the Victory Day parade in Donetsk on May 9, 2016. Tanks and rocket systems rolled through the rebel bastion of Donetsk in east Ukraine on May 9 as pro-Russian insurgents celebrated the 71th anniversary of the Soviet win over Nazi Germany in WWII. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) warned ahead of the parade that a display of military equipment would violate the 2015 agreement and pose a "threat to people". / AFP PHOTO / Aleksey FilippovALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images
An elderly WWII veteran and a girl walk with flowers past soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine, who are lined up to maintain order at the Unknown Soldier monument in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9, 2016, during Victory Day celebrations to commemorate the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOVGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images
A Chechen boy dressed in a WWII era Soviet uniform, marches with a red flag, with a sign reading May 9, during Victory Day celebrations in Chechnya's provincial capital Grozny, Russia, Monday, May 9, 2016. Russia celebrates the 71st anniversary of the victory over the Nazi Germany in the World War II on Monday. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)
A woman dressed in a Soviet military uniform holds placards in front of the soldiers of the National Guard of Ukraine, who are lined up to maintain order in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9, 2016, during Victory Day celebrations to commemorate the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOVGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images
People hold portraits of their relatives and participants during the Immortal Regiment march in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9, 2016, during Victory Day celebrations to commemorate the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOVGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images
People hold portraits of their relatives and participants during the Immortal Regiment march in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9, 2016, during Victory Day celebrations to commemorate the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOVGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images
A girl wearing a bow in the colors of the Russian flag attends the Immortal Regiment march in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on May 9, 2016, during Victory Day celebrations to commemorate the former Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. / AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOVGENYA SAVILOV/AFP/Getty Images

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