President Dimitry Medvedev made his first trip to inspect missile defense systems in his nation, a visit that underscored the strategic role of nuclear arms in the country’s assertive world policy. The Russian government has been concerned over the Bush plan to establish missile bases in Pland and the Czech Republic which supposedly are to protect Europe from missiles coming from North Korea or Iran. Medvedev told the soldiers at the base: “It is obvious that our task in the next few years is to ensure strategic missile forces get all the ncessary funds to be ready to withstand the existing threats.” Newly installed Prime Minister Putin had pledged a few days ago to raise salaries of members of the nuclear and air defense forces.
Medvedev was shown new versions of missiles which Colonel General Nikolai Solovtsov, commander of missile forces said “is a response to all security threats to Russia, including missile defense.” The Russian sudden concern for missile defense is obviously an outgrowth of the Bush blunder in creating a problem where none existed. The North Koreans are cooperating with the United States and there is no reason why Iran would ever seek to send missiles headed for Europe knowing full well such an act would result in their nation being devastated by missiles from France and Great Britain.