AMD talks with US crumble; Russia beefs up early-warning radar

Radar station Voronezh-DM
The Russian Defense Ministry announces plans for extensive new early-warning radar system as talks with US and NATO over the controversial European missile defense system hit the wall.

The announcement comes on the heels of President Dmitry Medvedev’s pledge to fortify national defense.

In addition to a newly inaugurated radar system located in Kaliningrad, several more radar stations will be placed on combat duty in 2012, Alexei Zolotukhin, an official with the Russian  Defense Ministry press service for Aerospace Defense Troops, told reporters on Sunday.

"The new radar station Voronezh-DM, located in the Kaliningrad region, became part of the missile attack warning system in late 2011,” Zolotukhin said. “A radar station is fully ready to be put on combat duty in the Leningrad region. Another radar station has been launched in the Krasnodar Territory.”

A new generation radar station will also be launched in the Irkutsk Region, he revealed.

The spokesman said the new radar will go online following a series of state tests to be conducted this year.

Responding to Washington’s reluctance to cooperate with Moscow in a US missile defense system in Eastern Europe, President Medvedev in November said Russia would deploy strike systems in the west and south of the country and deploy Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad Region. Russia has repeatedly warned that without its full participation in the system, situated just miles from the Russian border, it will be forced to respond to what it perceives as a threat to national security.

The Russian leader also reminded his American colleagues that Russia reserves the right to withdrawal from New START if the two sides fail to reach agreement over missile defense in Europe.

“In the event of unfavorable developments, Russia reserves the right to halt further steps in the disarmament sphere and, respectively, weapons control,” Medvedev said. “Besides, given the inseparable interconnection between the strategic offensive and defensive weapons, grounds may appear for our country’s withdrawal from the New START treaty.”

This was not the first time Moscow warned the US and NATO over the missile defense system, which Russia views as a potential threat to its national security. At the G-8 Summit in Deauville, France, in May, Medvedev warned that the world was heading toward another arms race.

"After 2020, if we do not come to terms, a real arms race will begin," Medvedev warned.

Despite repeated warnings, the US and NATO seem determined to push ahead with missile defense without Russia’s cooperation, and despite the fact such a decision could sink the “reset” in relations forged between Medvedev and US President Barack Obama.

On April 8, 2009, Medvedev and Obama met at Prague Castle signed the biggest nuclear arms pact in a generation, which promised to shrink the limit of nuclear warheads to 1,550 per country.

Robert Bridge, RT