MOSCOW, (BM) – The deployment of US missile defense systems in Poland and Romania poses a direct threat to Russia, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Gazeta.ru.
These systems have been in Romania since 2016, and Warsaw is still waiting for the completion of their installation, which is scheduled for 2021. Poland is actively arming itself, while declaring the “Russian threat”, the existence of which is categorically rejected in Moscow.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko called the use of universal launchers as part of the US missile defense system in Poland and Romania a direct threat to the country, allowing them to launch medium-range missiles.
The creation of a missile base in Poland with Mk-41 launchers should be completed in 2021. “All these plans, of course, are taken into account in the defense planning process,” the deputy foreign minister said in an interview with Interfax.
According to him, Russia can place its medium- and shorter-range missiles near the borders of the European Union if the United States places similar weapons in Europe.
Vice Admiral John Hill, director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, said in February that the US missile defense system Aegis Ashore would be put on combat duty in Poland two years late, meaning it could appear in the republic in 2022, Defense News quoted him as saying. .
The original plan was to launch the Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Poland by the second half of 2018, but the launch of the facility was postponed until 2020 due to problems with the contractor hired in Poland to build the facility.
In addition, the construction schedule for the Polish Aegis Ashore has shifted significantly due to bad weather, as well as problems with an increase in the number of manpower and other resources to carry out all the necessary work, said Samuel Greaves, the then Director General of the United States Missile Defense Agency.
According to a budget for fiscal year 2021 published in February, the US missile defense agency will need an additional $ 96 million to finance only the maintenance of Aegis Ashore systems in temperature-controlled protective containers.
According to John Hill, the current contractor had problems at “this last tactical mile” and the project is nearing completion.
“What is not finished at the moment is just what we really need. Namely – auxiliary control, heating, power supply and cooling units. That is, the objects that feed and support the combat system,” Hill explained. He clarified that it was the problems with these objects that suspended the commissioning of Aegis Ashore in Polish Redzikov.
In Russia, they regularly point to the strengthening of the military power of their western neighbors. Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation Army General Sergei Shoigu at a meeting of the board of the department in August last year announced the tension in the military-political situation in the western strategic direction.
He noted that there is a growing military presence of NATO. In particular, the minister spoke about Poland and Romania, where the US is deploying its missile defense systems.
Since 2016, the United States military base has been operating in Romanian territory on which the Aegis Ashore system with Mk-41 launchers and SM-3 interceptor missiles has been installed. The Pentagon assures that these systems are designed to intercept ballistic missiles.
At the same time, Moscow repeatedly pointed out to Washington that with the help of the Mk-41 Tomahawk cruise missiles could be launched, which had previously been banned under the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate and Shorter Range Missiles (INF Treaty). Washington has always denied this, but on August 2, 2019, the agreement ceased to exist.
Poland aims to strengthen the eastern flank of at least Romania.
“It is important to strengthen the eastern flank of NATO, and, therefore, the eastern flank of our country in order to deter a possible aggressor,” said Minister of Defense Mariusz Blaszczak on Polskie Radio last year. The head of the military department recalled the creation of a divisional command, to which US troops on the eastern flank of NATO will be subordinate.
Poland and the Baltic States regularly declare the need to strengthen defense positions because of the “Russian threat”. But, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the North Atlantic Alliance uses this thesis to deploy its troops near the borders of the Russian Federation.
According to him, amid the escalation of Russophobia in relations between Russia and NATO, as well as accusations that Moscow “is almost preparing to attack the Baltic states, Poland and everyone else,” heavy weapons are being deployed at the bloc’s borders with the Russian Federation.
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