Russia calls on Britain amid tension over nuclear shield

Russia has asked for Britain's help in resolving the impasse in talks over the proposed European nuclear defence shield with a warning that retaliatory "military steps" will be taken if the US and Nato go ahead with the programme without the Kremlin's consent.

Moscow's disquiet over what it considers intransigence by Washington was conveyed by Dmitri Rogozin, the ambassador to Nato, during a visit to London last Friday.

Mr Rogozin will be visiting a number of Alliance member states to stress that ignoring Russia's position will have ramifications not just for European defence but on a wider field, including co-operation over Iran, Syria and Afghanistan.

The ambassador stressed that the US and, by proxy, Nato, has rejected a number of proposals put forward by Moscow for the missile shield to be built in co-operation, including the request for a legal guarantee that the system's offensive capabilities, supposedly to counter the threat from "rogue states", would not be used against Russia.

"But so far we have failed to get a satisfactory reply on any of the options. 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" he said.

"Our position is clear, we do not want to give Nato an opportunity to shoot down any missiles from the Middle East over our heads. We do not want someone to organise another Chernobyl."

Mr Rogozin said that early next year Nato will formulate the so-called architecture, or design, of a missile defence system, "after which any negotiations will be meaningless. The Russian government is making intensive efforts to persuade our partners to start a serious discussion. Otherwise, there will be no alternative other than of researching and implementing a military-technical counter-argument". Mr Rogozin refused to elaborate on what this "counter-argument" would be, but held that Britain can help prevent a return to a Cold War confrontation.

He continued: "We believe that the UK is an influential country because of its very close alliance with the US. Russia and the UK were traditional historical allies in all the major wars of the 20th century, so we expect that Britain will take a responsible attitude in favour of finding speedy solutions to this crisis, and it is now a crisis."

During his visit, Mr Rogozin met Sir Peter Ricketts, the Prime Minister's national security adviser.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies