Russian President Putin stated his nation would continue to improve its military defense systems in face of growing American hostility. He was reported in the Moscow Times as viewing his nation needed to strengthen its military since the US was constructing missile bases in Poland. “This is what I call modern development of our armed forces.”
The Bush administration initiated this escalation of anger by establishing anti-missile defenses in eastern Europe. Putin volunteered to allow such bases to be set up in southern Russia as well as creating a joint center in Moscow to handle missiles supposedly coming from rogue states like Iran or Korea. Bush rejected these proposals.