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Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has sent NATO a rather unusual New Year’s card… picturing Santa alongside a Russian inter-continental ballistic missile.
Life ??????????? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ? ????? ?????!) pic.twitter.com/e3fndoMlHa
— Dmitry Rogozin (@Rogozin) December 28, 2013
Direct from his Twitter account – the Deputy PM literally says “We wish our friends from NATO a Happy New Year”
“Russia will deploy Iskander missile systems in its enclave in Kaliningrad to neutralize, if necessary, the anti-ballistic missile system in Europe.”
– Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president, November 2008 in his first presidential address to the Russian people
2013 was a year when Europe tried to reallign its primary source of natgas energy, from Gazpromia to Qatar, and failed. More importantly, it was a year in which Russia’s Vladimir Putin undisputedly won every foreign relations conflict that involved Russian national interests, to the sheer humiliation of both John Kerry and Francois Hollande. However, it seems the former KGB spy had a Plan B in case things escalated out of control, one that fits with what we wrote a few days ago when we reported that “Russia casually announces it will use nukes if attacked.” Namely, as Bloomberg reports citing Bild, Russia quietly stationed a double-digit number of SS-26 Stone, aka Iskander, tactical, nuclear-capable short-range missiles near the Polish border.
The range of the Iskander rockets:
- Russia has stationed missiles with a range of about 500 kilometers in its Kaliningrad enclave and along its border with the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Germany’s Bild-Zeitung reports, citing defense officials it didn’t identify.
- Satellite images show a “double-digit” amount of mobile units identified as SS-26 Stone in NATO code
- Missiles were stationed within the past 12 months
- SS-26 can carry conventional as well as nuclear warheads
In other words, Russian quietly has come through on its threat issued in April 2012, when it warned it would deploy Iskander missiles that could target US missile defense systems in Poland. From RIA at the time:
Moscow reiterated on Tuesday it may deploy Iskander theater ballistic missiles in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad that will be capable of effectively engaging elements of the U.S. missile defense system in Poland.
NATO members agreed to create a missile shield over Europe to protect it against ballistic missiles launched by so-called rogue states, for example Iran and North Korea, at a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2010.
The missile defense system in Poland does not jeopardize Russia’s nuclear forces, Army General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said.
“However, if it is modernized…it could affect our nuclear capability and in that case a political decision may be made to deploy Iskander systems in the Kaliningrad region,” he said in an interview with RT television.
“But that will be a political decision,” he stressed. “So far there is no such need.”
Looks like a little over a year later, the “political decision” was taken as the need is there. But why does Russia need to send a very clear message of escalation at a time when the Cold War is long over, when globalization and free trade, promote game theoretic world peace (or “piece” as the Obama administration wouldsay), oh, and when Russia quietly has decided to reestablish the former USSR starting with the Ukraine.
We’ll leave the rhetorical question logically unanswered.
With the Ukraine situation increasingly precarious, and now even the US state department getting involved with the occasional unexpected harsh warning…
- U.S. MAY CONSIDER SANCTIONS ON UKRAINE: STATE DEPT
… into what Putin has made very clear is his brand new sphere of influence (it is unclear just why the US is responding in such a way: did the pro-Europe protesters not use Made in the US tear gas or chemical weapons?), Russia casually threw it out there earlier today that it would use nuclear weapons if it comes under an attack. As vice prime minister and defense industry chief made clear, “One can experiment as long as one wishes by deploying non-nuclear warheads on strategic missile carriers. But one should keep in mind that if there is an attack against us, we will certainly resort to using nuclear weapons in certain situations to defend our territory and state interests.” Just in case it wasn’t quite clear…
Rogozin pointed out that this principle is enshrined in Russia’s military doctrine. Any aggressor or group of aggressors should be aware of that, he said. “We have never diminished the importance of nuclear weapons – the weapon of requital – as the great balancer of chances,” Rogozin said.
More from RT:
Russia’s Fund of Perspective Researches (FPI) will develop a military response to the American Conventional Prompt Global Strike (PGS) strategy, Dmitry Rogozin told the State Duma.
So far, the FPI has already looked at over a thousand proposed ideas and plans to work on 60 projects, eight of which are top priority, the politician said. He refused to disclose any details, but said that one of those projects is focused on preparing a response to the PGS, which is the “main strategy” that the Pentagon is nurturing.
PGS would allow the United States to strike targets anywhere on the planet, with conventional weapons in as little as an hour.
As Rogozin explained earlier, the strategy would give America an advantage over a nuclear state, thanks to their better technical capabilities with weaponry, including the speed, RIA Novosti cited.
So if nothing else, at least the primary deterrence strategy of the cold war has just made a roaring comeback. We can only hope that with such skilled heads of the State Department as John Kerry, that the nuclear exchange that was avoided for the duration of the first cold war doesn’t somehow become a GDP-boosting reality.