Russia Baffled by U.S. Deployment of Patriot Missiles in Poland
May 26, 2010
May 26 (Bloomberg) -- Russia “doesn’t understand the logic” of a U.S. decision to deploy a Patriot air-defense missile battery in Poland near the Russian border, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
“Such military activity doesn’t help to bolster our common security, the development of relations or predictability in the region,” the spokesman said by telephone in Moscow today, declining to be identified in line with ministry policy.
The U.S. missiles and their crews arrived in Poland on May 23 for the first stage of a rotating, two-year deployment. The battery will be located in Morag, about 70 kilometers (44 miles) from the border with Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, for training with Polish troops, according to the U.S. Embassy.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said hours after the election of his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, that he’d deploy short-range Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad if the U.S. went ahead with plans for a missile shield in Europe. In September 2009, Obama said he was scrapping the missile-system proposal, championed by his predecessor George W. Bush.
As Medvedev prepares for a state visit to the U.S., the Patriot deployment “doesn’t fit into the overall fabric of our relations at this stage,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
“It’s not clear why they need this,” the spokesman said. “This is an anti-aircraft system. There’s an element of anti- missile defense, but not very big.”