[Ed. – The Russian policy is to be able to hold the U.S. at risk with nuclear missiles. Period. If given the choice between a genuinely denuclearized world, and a world in which Russia can point nuclear missiles at the U.S., the Russians would choose the latter. That’s why, no matter what, they will always depict U.S. missile defenses as damaging to Russian security, and destabilizing in general. Kelly didn’t help facilitate dialogue on this by bring 9/11 into it. Putin is right; 9/11 had nothing to do with the U.S. and NATO wanting to improve missile defenses in Europe. From first to last, this was a silly conversation. Housewives would have done better.]
Discussing at length one of the biggest irritants in bilateral relations since the turn of the century, Putin dismissed Washington’s consistently-stated assertion that the BMD architecture being rolled out in Europe was designed to protect against missile attack from rogue states like Iran, not against the Russian nuclear arsenal. …
Kelly noted that the U.S. withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty – the step that paved the way for the proposals to develop a BMD shield in Europe – just months after al-Qaeda attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001.
“It was in the wake of 9/11, just to make it clear,” she interjected, adding that “the United States was reassessing its security posture in the world for good reason, wouldn’t you admit?”
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“No, not for good reason,” Putin replied.
“This is complete nonsense, because the missile defense system protects from the kind of ballistic missiles that no terrorists have in their arsenal,” he said. “This is an explanation for the housewives watching your program.”