AMD plans drive Moscow to flex nuclear muscle

A column of Russian RS-24 Yars thermonuclear intercontinental ballistic missile launchers (RIA Novosti / Andrey Smirnov)
The Russian-American dialogue on missile defense has hit a dead end, says Russia’s deputy defense minister. Anatoly Antonov warns that if Washington’s AMD activities continue to gather pace, Moscow will have to build up its nuclear potential.

­“They do not hear us, they say that they cannot take into account Russian interests because of US domestic problems,” the official told Kommersant daily. 

Washington refuses to give Moscow legal guarantees that the European AMD system is not targeted at Russia.
”Integration of the European segment with anti-missile elements in Alaska and Asia-Pacific significantly strengthens the potential of the American AMD,” Antonov stressed.

If the process continues at the same pace, Russia will have to target US defense sites, he explained.
Some retaliation measures are already being implemented. Russia is deploying Iskander missiles in the western Kaliningrad enclave, and creating a new branch of armed forces – Space [Defense] Troops.