MOSCOW — Russia threatened Wednesday to withdraw from the New START nuclear arms control deal with the United States and deploy missiles aimed toward U.S. defense installations in Europe in a harsh sign of the tension between the two countries.
In a prime-time televised speech, President Dmitry Medvedev, visibly upset over missile defense consultations with Washington, said an early-warning radar system immediately will be put on red alert close to the Russian border with Poland and that missiles and other weapons would be positioned in the country's west and south to target U.S. sites in Europe.
"These measures will be adequate, effective and low-cost," Medvedev said in his speech. "If the above measures prove insufficient, the Russian Federation will deploy modern offensive weapons in the west and south of the country ensuring our ability to take out any part of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe."
Medvedev rebuked the United States and other NATO partners for not supporting Russia's plan to work together on "a joint sector-based missile defense system" he offered a year ago.
Medvedev said the Kremlin will continue its dialogue with Washington on the issue. "There is still time to reach an understanding," he added.