Putin Warns Romania and Poland Against Installing ABM Missiles

Eric Zuesse

On Friday, May 27th, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin again asserted that American President Barack Obama lies when saying that the reason America’s anti-ballistic missile (“ABM”) or Ballistic Missile Defense (“BMD”) system is being installed in Romania, and will soon be installed in Poland, is to protect Europe from Iranian missiles that don’t even exist and that Obama himself says won’t exist because of Obama’s deal with Iran. Putin is saying: I know that you are lying there, not being honest. You’re aiming to disable our retaliatory capacity here, not Iran’s. I’m not so dumb as to believe so transparent a lie as your assurances that this is about Iran, not about Russia.

Putin says that ABMs such as America is installing, disable a country’s (in this case, Russia’s) ability to retaliate against a blitz invasion — something increasingly likely from NATO now as NATO has extended right up to Russia’s very borders — and that Russia will not allow this disabling of Russia’s retaliatory forces.

He said that “NATO fend us off with vague statements that this is no threat to Russia … that the whole project began as a preventive measure against Iran’s nuclear program. Where is that program now? It doesn’t exist. … We have been saying since the early 2000s that we will have to react somehow to your moves to undermine international security. No one is listening to us.”

In other words, he is saying that the West is ignoring Russia’s words, and that therefore Russia will, if this continues, respond by eliminating the ABM sites before they become fully operational. To do otherwise than to eliminate any fully operational ABM system on or near Russia’s borders would be to leave the Russian people vulnerable to a blitz attack by NATO, and this will not be permitted.

He said: “At the moment the interceptor missiles installed have a range of 500 kilometers, soon this will go up to 1000 kilometers, and worse than that, they can be rearmed with 2400km-range offensive missiles even today, and it can be done by simply switching the software, so that even the Romanians themselves won’t know.”

In other words: Only the Americans, who have designed and control the ABM system, will be able to know if and when Russia is left totally vulnerable. Not even the Romanians will know; and Putin says, “Russia has ‘no choice’ but to target Romania” — and later Poland, if they follow through with their plans to do the same.

By implication, Putin is saying that, whereas he doesn’t need to strike Romania’s site immediately, he’ll need to do it soon enough to block the ABM system’s upgrade that will leave Russia vulnerable to attack and (because of the fully functional ABM) with no ability on Russia’s part to counter-strike.

He is saying: Remove the ABM system, or else we’ll have to do it by knocking it out ourselves.

Putin knows that according to the Article Five, “Mutual Defense,” provision of the NATO Treaty, any attack against a NATO member, such as Romania, is supposed to elicit an attack by all NATO members against the nation that is attacking. However, Putin is saying that, if NATO is going to be attacking Russia, then it will be without any fully operational ABM system, and (by implication) that Russia’s response to any such attack will be a full-scale nuclear attack against all NATO nations, and a nuclear war resulting which will destroy the planet by unleashing all the nuclear weaponry of both sides, NATO and Russia.

Putin is saying that either Romania — and subsequently Poland — will cancel and nullify their cooperation with U.S. President Obama’s ABM installation, or else there will be a surgical strike by Russia against such installation(s), even though that would likely produce a nuclear attack against Russia by NATO, and a counter-strike nuclear attack by Russia against NATO.

When Putin said “No one is listening to us” on the other side, the NATO side, Putin meant: I don’t want to have to speak by means of a surgical strike to eliminate a NATO ABM system, but that’s the way I’ll ‘speak’ if you are deaf to words and to reason and to common decency.

He will not allow the Russian people to become totally vulnerable to a nuclear attack by the United States and its military allies. He is determined that, if NATO attacks Russia, then it will be game-over for the entire world, not only for Russia.

He is saying to Obama and to all of NATO: Please hear and understand my words, and be reasonable, because the results otherwise will be far worse for everyone if you persist in continuing to ignore my words.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Wonder how Obama got Nobel Peace prize

    • wunsacon

      It tells me to distrust anything out of Europe as likely corrupted and subservient.

      • Silverado

        You’re mistaken. It’s anything out of Washington that is corrupt though especially the neocons. Hang their ideologues, jail the mid management level and have the rest of these criminals that can be…re-conditioned out picking up trash beside the freeways to earn their keep. OK I relent…they can also be placed in that dustbin of history too – I say we go for it…

        • Baby_Jesus

          I like the Tar and Feather idea.

          • Silverado

            Hey, that’d work too…

  • colinjames71

    Fucking madness.

  • tom

    “I’m not so dumb as to believe so transparent a lie as your assurances that this is about Iran, not about Russia”.

    I certainly hope that Putin wouldn’t believe any American official’s assurances about anything more important than, say, the weather or the time of lunch. If they think they can gain by lying, they do. If they don’t think they can gain by lying, they may do so anyway – just to keep in practice, or from force of habit.

    The rule should be: “Never risk anything by trusting an American”. If trust entails no risk at all, consider trusting.

  • tom

    Obama and his little friends are being very, very cunning – as their simple minds see it. Whereas the Americans detected the impending Soviet installation of missiles in Cuba in time for Kennedy to declare a blockade, Obama is trying to sneak in his missiles in such a way that Russia cannot impede their installation. Because he is a simpleton, he does not understand that he is thus forcing the Russians to destroy his missiles or die. No doubt all the little people in Washington are dancing and jumping up and down with glee, clapping their little hands. They don’t understand that having forced the Russians to attack first is NOT a victory – for them or anyone else. Because now they will either have to sit on their thumbs while their prized ABM systems are reduced to smoking ruins, or start WWIII and commit suicide while also being responsible for the greatest and last of all genocides.

  • Eol Awki

    The West is putting on a show. They want to impress each other with their ability to stand up to the Russian Bear and they want push Russia to the point that she will back down for fear of a resulting nuclear holocaust (a REAL holocaust as compared to the contrived one). What they do not understand in any way (as Putin has been unceasingly trying to explain to them over the years) is that once Russia perceives an existential threat to its survival as a country, it will immediately take any steps necessary to protect itself, even if it ultimately means a nuclear confrontation. Putting such a missile shield on its borders, attempting to cripple its means of retaliating against nuclear aggression, is just such a condition that Russia would interpret as an existential threat. In such a case they will attack instantly with full force both to protect their interests and to punish their enemies unmercifully.

    The West considers this an entertaining game of Poke the Bear. Russia considers it a threat to their existence.

    • Baby_Jesus

      You know something about poking, I guess.

  • Lorenzo

    Hope Russia will not divert all her retaliation missiles and spare some for NY, Chicago, LA, SFO.

  • Happy Joe

    Perhaps the timing of the switch on of these ABM sites will be coordinated with the global economic collapse? That would be a convenient distraction for the bankers and other financial criminals, including politicians and national leaders.

  • paul

    Clearly Putin isn’t saying that there will be a pre-emptive strike. It’s more that he’s warning Romania and Poland that they are putting themselves very much in the line of fire and on a knife edge to boot – effectively it amounts to the same thing.

  • John Gilberts

    According to John Helmer, a knowledgeable and long-time Moscow observer, there may not be another warning….
    The Red Line Crossed, In the Cross-Hairs, At Trigger-Point — Waiting For an October Surprise