In his first State of the Nation speech, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced his nation’s plan to counter America’s missile defense system being built in Poland and the Czech Republic. Iskander missiles will be deployed to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, as well as electronic jamming equipment.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack described the Russian move as “disappointing” and reiterated the US claims that the 10 interceptor missiles which will be placed in Poland sometime in the next few years are directed at Iran, not Russia. Russia has been skeptical of the claim, particularly considering neither the site of the missiles nor the radar station are within the range of Iran’s most advanced missile.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk dismissed the report, saying “I wouldn’t put too much weight to these types of declarations.” He added that he didn’t believe this affected Poland’s safety. Russia has repeatedly threatened to target the US sites in Poland, with General Nikolai Solovtsov suggesting they could be targeted with ICBMs. Of course the conveniently placed Iskander missiles would likely eliminate the need to target the Polish site with any longer-range options.