Russian NATO envoy warns of U.S. missile shield in Arctic

Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, said in an interview today with Vesti, a Russian news outlet, that the U.S. could deploy a mobile missile shield in the Arctic. He voiced his trepidations over the Obama administration’s decision to not erect an missile defense shield in the Czech Republic and Poland, noting that now, American military actions will be more ambiguous.

He said,

“Before, we knew exactly that Poland would have 10 missiles and the Czech Republic would have radar, while we would have our own Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad. One after another, look: what was once controlled is now frightening. Now the defense system will be placed on the deck of the American cruisers, and where they tomorrow will be remains to be seen. This is all the more so given the climate changes and changing conditions in the Arctic zone. NATO has already predicted that the Northern Sea Route will be year-round With the ice melted, NATO will definitely be in the Arctic. They have long been planning. But maybe there will be some very bad conditions, and the U.S. missile defense will be on the decks of just those same ships. Therefore, I am not a supporter of euphoria. ”

(I apologize for the rough translation, which is courtesy Google Translate and some of my own tweaking. If there are any Russian speakers out there who can translate Rogozin’s comments, that would be much appreciated).

This claim comes just as the Russians are carrying out their annual military exercises in the Arctic north of Murmansk. Clips from Ladoga-2009, as the exercises are termed, can be seen on 1tv.ru. First, thousands of troops are seen unpacking and gearing up in the snowy night. Then, paratroopers jump out of airplanes at a height of 600 meters to practice landing. A total of 462 paratroopers safely made the landing. Later in the clip, helicopters fly over Murmansk doing what looks like target practice, while large ships sail up to the shore underneath as part of the amphibious assault exercise. Specifically, 11 IL-76 aircraft are involved in these exercises. In the background, tanks are rolling over the tundra landscape in the background.

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