MOSCOW — A new arms race will erupt if Russia can't agree with the West about a joint European missile defense program, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned Tuesday in his annual address.
A NATO summit this month proposed an alliance missile-shield plan and invited Russia to participate. Questions remain about possible joint command of such a system.
"In the next 10 years, the following alternatives await us — either we reach agreement on missile defense and create a full joint cooperation mechanism, or, if we don't go into a constructive agreement, a new phase of the arms race will begin. And we will have to make a decision on deploying new means of attack," Medvedev told both houses of parliament.
Medvedev has already endorsed the NATO proposal. Experts from both sides are meeting before the end of the year to consider linking NATO's and Russia's separate systems to provide a shield against incoming missiles from rogue nations, and deliver a report to defense ministers in July.