Russia to redeploy nuclear missiles if NATO fails to agree on common missile defense - Medvedev

Russia expects NATO to cooperate on creation of joint European missile defense and will alter its main nuclear strike group in case such cooperation fails, the Russian President has said.

“Our partners in NATO must understand that we need this not to play some games together with NATO, but in order to provide Russia with proper defense. This is my duty as a president as well as other state servants. That is why no jokes should be made about this – we expect from our NATO partners a direct and unambiguous answer – where they see Russia’s place. In any case, we will either be together with NATO or find a decent answer to the existing challenge,”  ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Dmitry Medvedev as saying.

The Russian leader made this statement when meeting Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin in a presidential residence near Moscow on Monday.

The Russian president noted that he had already touched upon this question in his annual address to the Federal Assembly.

“It’s either we come to an agreement on certain terms and make a compatible system to solve the tasks of missile defense or we don’t and in this case we will have to make a number of unpleasant decisions in the nearest future dealing with deployment of the strike nuclear missile group,” the President said.

Medvedev has described the general understanding of the problem from the Russian side at the Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon in November 2010. This time he said that the reaction to the Russian proposal was mixed but generally good. The president asked Rogozin to report on the recent developments on the issue and if there were any agreements already. The envoy said that a preliminary report on the initiative will be ready by the summit of defense ministers of Russia-NATO council due in July this year.