Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitri Rogozin has been making the rounds to the alliance’s member states in an effort to persuade them to pressure the U.S. to change its stance with regard to the proposed European missile defense shield. In London last Friday, Rogozin tried to persuade the U.K. to use its special relationship with the U.S. to pressure it to abandon its plans of building a missile defense shield, saying failure to do so would have effects far beyond the boundaries of Europe. Echoing sentiments held during the Cold War, Rogozin decries the U.S.’s ‘intransigence’ with regard to the missile shield, “It seems to us that for the US, the establishment of a missile defence system is a kind of set philosophy, an equivalent of Marxism-Leninism, not subject to revision or even questioning.” Russia has made the defense shield a point of contention and crisis between itself and the United States and promises a response to the shield if plans go ahead. What form this response will take has yet to be seen but, ultimately, the loss of Russian cooperation with the United States on Iran may not be a threat so much as a statement of reality. Russian arms trade with Iran has been cited as foundational to Iran’s nuclear weapons program so Russian cooperation with regard to Iran may be nonexistent regardless of the outcome in the missile defense shield crisis.

 

[The Independent]