Tags: Anti-missile, nuclear, Poland, Russia, USA & Poland missile shields
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Russia threatened a nuclear strike against Poland after a landmark deal to site American global anti-missile shields in the country.
Only 24 hours after the weapons agreement was signed Russia’s deputy chief of staff warned Poland “is exposing itself to a strike 100 per cent”.
General Anatoly Nogovitsyn said that any new US assets in Europe could come under Russian nuclear attack with his forces targeting “the allies of countries having nuclear weapons”.
He told Russia’s Interfax news agency: “By hosting these, Poland is making itself a target. This is 100 per cent certain. It becomes a target for attack. Such targets are destroyed as a first priority.”
Russia’s nuclear rhetoric marks an intense new phase in the war of words over Georgia. The Caucasus conflict has spiralled into a Cold War style confrontation between Moscow and Washington in less than a week.
The stand off between the two cold War powers was underlined by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, who dismissed US claims that the silo is a deterrent against ‘rogue states’ like Iran as “a fairy tale”. He told reporters at the Black Sea resort of Sochi: “The deployment of new missile defence facilities in Europe is aimed against the Russian Federation.”
President George W. Bush in a brief but pointed statement earlier in the day said: “The Cold War is over… Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century.”
Mr Bush, who is demanding an immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Georgia now that that a ceasefire deal has been signed, added: “Only Russia can decide whether it will now put itself back on the path of responsible nations or continue to pursue a policy that promises only confrontation and isolation,”
Russia’s deteriorating relationship with the West was strained further when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday visited Georgian capital Tbilisi and concluded a ceasefire deal with Russia. It was the highest profile gesture of American political support for Georgia’s embattled government since the conflict began. [read more]