A ballistic missile defense shield the United States has activated in Europe is a step to a new arms race, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, vowing to adjust budget spending to neutralize “emerging threats” to Russia. The United States switched on the $800 million missile shield at a Soviet-era base in Romania on Thursday saying it was a defense against missiles from Iran and so-called rogue states. Speaking to top defense and military industry officials, Putin said the system was aimed at blunting Russia’s nuclear arsenal. 'This is not a defense system. This is part of U.S. nuclear strategic potential brought onto a periphery. Until now, those taking such decisions have lived in calm, fairly well-off and in safety. Now, as these elements of ballistic missile defense are deployed, we are forced to think how to neutralize emerging threats to the Russian Federation,” he said.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.