Russia Critical as US Missiles Arrive in Poland

Spokesman 'Unclear' on Why US Deployed Missiles Along Russian Border

by Jason Ditz, May 26, 2010

Russian officials spoke with a combination of consternation and befuddlement as American missiles arrived in Poland and were deployed less than 50 miles from the border with the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

It’s not clear why they need this,” said a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, “this is an anti-aircraft system. There’s an element of anti- missile defense, but not very big.

Officially, the Obama Administration claims the missiles are to defend Europe from an Iranian attack, but Iran has no missiles with a maximum range of the US battery, and it is unimaginable that Iran would launch an attack against Eastern Poland at any rate.

Ultimately the missiles seem to be there for political and not strategic reasons. Poland’s voters have expressed opposition to the missiles but their government was furious when the Obama Administration anandoned a previous missile battery plan, and has cheered the latest deployment as a symbol of growing US influence in the region.

Likewise the missiles don’t appear to be any serious threat to Russia’s security plans for the region, but the deployment so close to their border seems designed specifically to spite the Medvedev government, which feels obliged to respond.

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