Russia has reacted strongly to the US and NATO cooperation in the European region. Only a few days following the progress of the missile defense program from the allies, Russia promised to push its launch detection system further to identify and deal with potential attacks. Such scenario can eventually lead to a nuclear war, according to a senior official.
According to reports, if Russia will upgrade its Dnepr Missile Launch Detection System in Crimea then the country should have the capability to detect hypersonic, ballistic and cruise missiles from the Mediterranean and Black Sea.
Moscow has complained over the NATO program despite the United States claiming that the program is intended to deter Iran’s missile threats.
“The threat is gone, but the creation of the missile defense system is continuing,” Fox News quoted Putin last Friday.
According to Putin, Russia “will do everything needed to ensure and preserve the strategic balance, which is the most reliable guarantee from large-scale military conflicts,” although the country refused to be involved into the arms race.
The NATO defense system also includes a Romanian site that started operations Thursday. There is also another in Poland where US and Polish officials broke ground. The facility should be operational in 2018.
General Sir Richard Shirreff, one of NATO’s most senior retired generals, also added that NATO is risking nuclear war with Russia if it will not beef up its Baltic states defense capabilities. The war could possibly happen in just a year.
Shirreff, who served as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander in Europe between 2011 and 2014, said that there is a high chance for all NATO members to be under attack. The general cited places like Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia. He also added that such attack has a high propensity that the West must also act accordingly to prevent any catastrophe.
“The chilling fact is that because Russia hardwires nuclear thinking and capability to every aspect of their defense capability, this would be nuclear war,” Independent quoted Shirreff.
“We need to judge President Putin by his deeds not his words,” he added. “He has invaded Georgia, he has invaded the Crimea, he has invaded Ukraine. He has used force and got away with it.
“In a period of tension, an attack on the Baltic states… is entirely plausible.”