January 22, 2010
In response to Warsaw’s recent announcement that it will base US Patriot missiles near the border with Kaliningrad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow needs more information.
[efoods]On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a news conference (click here for RT coverage) where he summed up the political events of 2009, and provided insight into what to expect for 2010, which included discussion over Poland’s recent decision to risk a conflict with Russia.
While acknowledging that Patriot missiles based on Polish soil “is a subject of bilateral relations between Poland and the United States,” Lavrov said he did not understand why Warsaw needed such defense weapons, especially so close to Kaliningrad. After all, the stated reason for introducing a missile defense system in Europe was to guard against a possible missile strike from Iran, not Russia.
“Perhaps there are reasons that these defense systems will be deployed,” Lavrov said. “I don’t have the full information, but nevertheless, the question emerges: Why should Poland strengthen its defenses against Russia? I don’t understand this. But we hope to receive some clarification and we will analyze it then.”
Earlier, Lavrov had said that Warsaw’s decision to base Patriot missiles near the Russian border creates “the impression as if Poland is bracing itself against Russia.”