Get the latest news, videos, pictures and more on your site!
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
You Witness News
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Russia to station missiles near Poland
Wed Nov 5, 2008 10:27am EST
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Michael Stott
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged on Wednesday to station new missiles near Poland's border in response to U.S. plans for an anti-missile system and proposed extending the presidential term to six years from four.
In an assertive first annual address to the nation, he defended Russia's war with Georgia, appealed to nationalism and attacked Washington's "selfish" foreign policy and "economic blunders" which he said caused the global financial crisis.
The harsh tone and repeated attacks on the United States the day after Democrat Barack Obama's electoral victory surprised some observers who had expected a more liberal style and more detail on how Russia would tackle a financial crisis.
"To neutralize -- if necessary -- the (U.S.) anti-missile system, an Iskander missile system will be deployed in the Kaliningrad region," Medvedev said, referring to a Russian enclave bordering European Union members Poland and Lithuania.
Russia would electronically jam the U.S. system, parts of which are due to be deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic, and Moscow would scrap plans to stand down three Cold War-era nuclear missile regiments, the president said.
"Medvedev was very assertive in his delivery," said Ronald Smith, chief strategist at Alfa Bank in Moscow. "(He) appeared to be staking out strong positions on various issues ahead of the entry of the new American presidential administration."
Poland played down the Russian plan. "We have been used to the fact that Russia growls every now and then," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at a news conference in Warsaw. "I would not give too much meaning to this declaration."
In Prague, Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told Reuters the Russian deployment would worsen the atmosphere for dialogue. Lithuanian President Valdus Adamkus said in a statement the Russian plan was beyond comprehension.
Medvedev's 85-minute address also included surprise proposals to extend the presidential term from four to six years, a move that may benefit his predecessor Vladimir Putin.
Still Russia's most popular politician, Putin stepped down in May after serving the maximum two consecutive terms allowed, but is free to return for another two terms when Medvedev's four years in power end in 2012.
"This is being prepared so that Putin can return for 12 years, so two six-year terms," said Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a Russian political analyst.
Medvedev said a longer term was needed to allow the head of state to meet challenges including economic and military reform and the creation of a stable democracy. A Kremlin aide said the change would not apply to the term Medvedev is serving now.
Putin, now a highly influential prime minister, listened attentively from the front row of the audience in the grand, marble-clad St George Hall of the Kremlin.
Medvedev also announced plans to lengthen legislators' terms by a year and make it easier for small parties now excluded from the federal legislature to win parliamentary representation.
CRITICISM OF UNITED STATES Continued...
View article on single page
Poles, Czechs see Obama standing by missile shield
Also on Reuters
U.S. business schools feel fallout from crisis
Love, not war, and mystery in Pyongyang
Unemployment fears stalk once-roaring China
Poles, Czechs see Obama standing by missile shield
Russia sets tough tone with new White House
Russia Medvedev proposes presidential term of 6 years
Russia's Medvedev to clamp down on extremism
Kremlin: Medvedev's current term cannot be extended
Russia's Medvedev criticizes U.S. over Georgia
Russia's Medvedev slams "selfish" U.S. foreign policy
EU executive urges early talks on Russia accord
INSTANT VIEW: Russian President Medvedev address to nation
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Top News: Obama takes aim at the Greenspan era
Politics: Big foreign policy challenges await Obama
US: Black Americans celebrate Obama's victory
Most Popular on Reuters
Obama rides wind of change to historic victory
World leaders' quotes on Obama election win
Democrats expand majorities in Congress | Video
INSTANT VIEW: Obama wins presidential election
ANALYSIS-Obama victory signals shift in US race relations
McCain vows to help Obama | Video
Impact of Democrats' gains in Congress
How U.S. stock sectors could fare in an Obama administration
Black Americans celebrate Obama's victory | Video
Bush calls Obama to congratulate him on win
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
Obama wins U.S presidency
Winslet's revealing photo spread
Barack Obama Elected President
Obama, Biden take the stage
US media projects Obama victory
New Yorkers cheer
Obama Wins Ohio
Obama supporters gather in Harlem
Obama poised to win White House
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
We want to hear from you
Join the Reuters advisory panel and help us get to know you better.
Please take a few moments to complete our survey.
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.