Interfax: Agreement on Iran challenges grounds to set up missile shield in Europe – Pushkov
MOSCOW. Dec 12 (Interfax) – The agreements of the Sextet and Tehran on the Iranian nuclear program call into question if there is any sense of the missile shield in Europe being created by NATO, head of the Russian State Duma committee on foreign affairs Alexei Pushkov said.
“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin has put the question correctly: the issue of Iran goes away and the European missile shield remains? The agreement with Iran destroys the remaining grounds for the missile shield’s necessity,” Pushkov tweeted on Thursday.
The true purposes of the Western countries’ missile shield do not comply with its name, Putin said earlier on Thursday.
“We are well aware of the fact that missile shield is defensive solely in its name. In reality, this is a considerable part of strategic offensive potential,” Putin said in his address to the Russian Federation Council.
The United States said for a long time that the main purpose of the missile shield being established in Europe is intercepting rockets which could be launched by Iran.
The complete resolution of the situation with the Iranian nuclear program should lift the question of the U.S. and NATO creating the missile shield in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week.
NATO explained the necessity of establishing the European missile shield with a complex of threats coming from not one or two countries, Director of the NATO Information Office in Moscow Robert Pszczel said.
The decision to build the missile shield systems is related not just to one to two countries, Pszczel told Interfax on Thursday.
It concerns 30 countries, which either have or are close to having the technology of ballistic missiles with the opportunity to transfer weapons of mass destruction, Pszczel said.