Russia refuses to fight terrorism with intercontinental ballistic missiles

The USA is ready to consider the issue of imposing sanctions against Russian defense enterprises. Russia in its turn is not ready to support USA’s suggestion to use non-nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles against terrorists. These two statements released by Russian and US Defense Ministers Donald Rumsfeld and Sergei Ivanov became the key aspects of negotiations which took place in the Fairbanks, Alaska.

The ministers discussed a traditional range of problems: the struggle against international terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and missile technologies and the state of affairs in world’s critical regions. The set of problems, which was actively discussed and amended during numerous meetings between Russian and US defense ministers, was finally approved by the presidents of the two countries during the recent G8 summit in St.Petersburg as the list of major objectives.

Russia and the USA are currently developing a project of a possible cooperation in the field of defense technologies. US officials are especially interested in the project, sources from the Russian Defense Ministry told the Vremya Novostei newspaper.

It is worthy of note that the USA’s aspiration to start military cooperation with Russia is rather surprising. Such cooperation was impossible before: the USA was supervising everything in its defense export controls not to let US military technologies leak. Nowadays, the USA tries to change its stance on the matter because of new developments of the Russian Defense Complex. Russia shares its military technologies with USA’s European competitors. On certain occasions the USA is forced to cooperate with Russia, particularly when it comes to booster rockets and titanium products for the US aviation industry. More importantly, Russia successfully develops a new generation of arms based on new physical principles. Therefore, Russian Minister Ivanov did not rush to give either positive or negative answer to his counterpart Donald Rumsfeld during yesterday’s meeting in Alaska.

The situation with another potential US-Russian agreement is unclear as well. It goes about a document on the protection of space activity information. Russian military officials believe that the document appeared because of possibilities for either Russia or the USA to launch nuclear weapons into space. A special agreement on information exchange and mutual control is needed not to let events take such a dangerous turn.

These two potential agreements have obscured USA’s plans to deploy the global anti-missile defense system . It was not so long ago when top Russian officials said that such a project would undermine the foundation of international security. The system would give the USA an opportunity to strike nuclear blows against any region of the world and stay safe and sound under the protection of the global air defense complex. However, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov could only rebuke his colleague, Mr. Rumsfeld, yesterday. “We carefully approach these ideas and plans. However, we believe that such plans must be executed most transparently not to make another side start a race to subdue the US air defense,” the official said during yesterday’s talks in Fairbanks. In other words, the Russian minister said that the USA could continue with its air defense plans but he urged the US administration not to be too secret about it.

The Russian minister did not approve the USA’s suggestion to remove nuclear warheads from several ballistic missiles and use the latter as conventional rockets in the struggle against terrorism. Donald Rumsfeld is certain that it would widen opportunities of striking preventive blows against terrorists all over the world. Sergei Ivanov said that he was not ready to declare Russia ’s official agreement on the matter. Ivanov said that Russia and the USA could use longer-range missiles for the same purpose instead.

Specialists of the Russian Strategic Missile Troops say that a launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile may trigger a counter-strike made by all Russian nuclear missile complexes. The automatic missile attack prevention system is unable to identify whether the launched missile is outfitted with a nuclear warhead or not. For example, the USA launches a non-nuclear missile against terrorists, but it turns out later that it was a nuclear missile targeting a non-terrorist state. To crown it all, Russia and the USA differ in their opinions of the countries supporting international terrorism. The US administration describes Iran and Syria as such, although Russia approaches them as its allies. Donald Rumsfeld hopes, though, that Sergei Ivanov will change his mind on the matter afterwards.

As for the recent US-imposed sanctions against Russia’s two largest defense enterprises (Rosoboronexport and Sukhoi), the head of the Pentagon said that the USA would like to consider the issue again and try to understand the reasons of that decision. In other words, the sanctions could be withdrawn.

Vremya Novostei

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov