Russia warns against missile-interceptors in the Barents Sea

Russian NATO envoy Dmitri Rogozin says Russia will never agree to a joint system on European missile defence if NATO deploys ship-based interceptors in the Barents Sea.


A Europe-wide missile shield was on the agenda at the November NATO summit in Lisbon. NATO invited Russia to join the missile shield effort as a common effort to improve the relations between east and west. In September 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama called off the Bush administration’s plans to stationing an advanced radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland.

Those plans were heavily criticized by Moscow, claiming such missile interceptor system threatened the deterrent value of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.

Part of the new missile defence plan includes smaller ship-based interceptors. The aim is to shoot down incoming missiles from rough states, mainly assumed to be Iran.

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Speaking at a press-conference in Moscow on Thursday, Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitri Rogozin said there are not any missile threats in northern Europe, so there is no need for any anti-missile systems there, RIA Novosti reports.

Quoted by Associated Press, Rogozin underlines that Russia won’t accept NATO’s propsed cooperation on European missile dence if the Western allicance deployes missiles in Poland, the Baltic- or the Barents Sea.

The Barents Sea has since the early 60ties been the main backyard for Russia’s submarine based intercontinental nuclear missiles. Today, Russia’s fleet of Delta-IV submarines with missiles that can reach North-America are patrolling the north-eastern part of the Barents Sea. Their homeport is west of Murmansk on the Kola Peninsula.

NATO said in their statement from last month’s NATO-Russia Council (NRC) Lisbon meeting that the cooperation with Russia is of strategic importance in light of common security interests.

We are determined to build a lasting and inclusive peace, together with Russia, in the Euro-Atlantic Area,” the Lisbon Summit Declaration reads.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin words are even stronger than Rogozin, talking about the development of a joint missile defense shield. In an interview with the U.S. talk show host Larry King this week, Putin warned that Russia will be forced to deploy new nuclear weapons if the US does not agree with Moscow’s objections.

Putin said “new missile nuclear technologies will be put in place.” While such technologies in central Europe are believed to be the Iskander missile system for Kaliningrad, it can as well be new submarine based multiple warheads missiles in the Barents Sea.

Read our OpEdAlso for our Barents safety

The new Bulava missile that BarentsObserver has been reporting intensively on over the last years is said to be designed with stealth technology that could by-pass any anti-missile systems and also be equipped with multiple warheads.  

Last year, BarentsObserver also reported that tachtical nuclear warheads again could be placed onboard the Russian Northern fleets multi-purpose submarines. Russia’s multi-purpose submarines and attack submarines have not been sailing with nuclear warheads since the end of the 80teis.