Moscow, May 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The projected European missile defense system could have the ability to intercept Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles by 2020, Secretary of Russia's Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said Thursday.
The US and NATO agreed to develop the system at a summit in Lisbon in 2010, but talks between Russia and the alliance have floundered over NATO's refusal to grant Russia legal guarantees that the system would not be aimed against Russia's strategic nuclear deterrent.
"By 2018-20 - that is the third and fourth phases of the deployment of the Euro-missile defense in Europe - the continent should have enough anti-missile defense to be able to intercept part of Russia's intercontinental ballistic missiles, and submarine launched ballistic missiles," Patrushev said at an international conference on Euro-missile defense in Moscow.
"The geographical regions and technical characteristics of these missile defense systems create the foundations for additional dangers, especially considering the current and future levels of high-precision armament of the United States," he said.
"Our experts say other targets, which could require serious missile defense against it, do not really exist," he said.
Patrushev said the creation of the Euro-missile defense, which is taking place without Russia's agreement and will lead to a degradation of Russia's nuclear deterrent, could lead to a disbalance in strategic stability at the regional and global levels.
"The refusal to discuss the conditions for providing legal binding guarantees for the deployment system to be not aimed at Russia strengthens our convictions that the real goal of this missile defense system could differ from what is stated," he said.
Russia's military and political leadership has already warned its western partners several times that if talks fail, Russia may take a series of measures including deployment of Iskander short-range tactical nuclear missiles.
The "Missile Defense Factor in Forming a New Security Space" conference has been organized by the Russian defense ministry. More than 200 military specialists and experts are taking part from over 50 nations inclduding the 28 NATO nations.