Moscow Sees Military Threats from All Directions with the US Always Involved

Very aggressive anti-Americanism still exists in Moscow even after the election. Russian leaders see threats coming from all directions with the US always involved either directly or indirectly.

Anti-Western and anti-American official statements in Moscow did not dwindle after the presidential elections on March 4, as many in the West hoped, believing this was just electioneering PR. Aggressive anti-Western rhetoric in external and internal politics is the core of the present Russian regime. …

The Kremlin sees threats coming from all directions: Central Asia, the Caucasus, a territorial dispute with Japan in the Far East over the Kuril Islands, a war of words with Canada over potential drilling rights in the Arctic and, on the western border, the planned future deployment of US BMD systems in Poland, Romania and on US warships in the Black and in the North Seas. In all cases, the US is seen as being involved ether directly or indirectly as the main adversary. The fact that present or future US BMD capabilities, which may appear after 2017, cannot threaten Russian ICBMs is not taken into consideration.

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Last month, during a security conference in the closed nuclear arms designing and producing city Sarov (Arzamas-16), Yuri Solomonov – the chief designer of Russia’s newest land and sea-based ICBMs, Bulava-30, Topol-M and Yars – in the presence of the press told president-elect Vladimir Putin that most of the declarations about the threat to Russian strategic nuclear forces posed by US plans to deploy BMD in Europe “are hearsay” and self-defeating. “I have designed ICBMs for more than 45 years and announce this absolutely officially,” proclaimed Solomonov. He recalled the 1980s when Russian military and political leaders with dire consequences took seriously President Ronald Regan’s “Star Wars” Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). While the Soviet Union was spending billions inventing countermeasures, the SDI plans turned out to be unfeasible. Solomonov demanded that in the future the assessment of BMD threats as well as proposals for possible BMD cooperation with NATO must be made by true specialists. Putin told Solomonov “thank you” without any further comment. Today it is clear that Solomonov’s and other Russian experts’ attempts to bring some sense into the official anti-BMD policy have failed (EDM, March 1).

The Jamestown Foundation: Moscow Sees Military Threats from All Directions