US trying to adapt its anti-missile plan to new situation
“The system will be a layered versatile adaptive system, which means that probably more emphasis will be made on tactical weapons, rather than on strategic weapons,” Polikanov said.
At the same time, the analyst stated that it doesn’t mean that the US is rejecting the idea of missile defense per se.
“They are simply trying to adapt it to the new situation and take into account the concerns of some European states, and at the same time the changes in the Iranian missile program,” he noted.
The analyst believes that the US decision to abandon George W. Bush’s planned deployment of a missile defense system in Eastern Europe will definitely cause positive official reaction.
“However, I assume that if further statements by the US administration are made – like the movement of sea-based systems closer to Iranian territory, or like the statement that was made about the possible deployment of a missile defense system in the Caucasus – this of course can cause some concerns for Moscow.”
Polikanov argues that the step was a logical outcome of the “quite positive” talks held between the Russian and American presidents in London in April and during the recent summit in Moscow.
“I think they both intend to improve the relations between Russia and the US, as they are quite keen on working on nonproliferation and nuclear disarming,” he added. “That is why we can expect substantial progress in negotiations, and the decision on the delay of the missile defense deployment in Europe is a positive sign in this respect.”