Kaliningrad radar a signal to the West
President Dmitry Medvedev, who personally inaugurated the Kaliningrad radar on Tuesday, said that its key task was to provide early warning of possible missile attacks and to protect national security in the most missile-dangerous directions. He did not rule out the possibility of integrating the Kaliningrad radar into a joint Russian-NATO missile defense shield in the future but complained that Western partners were reluctant to cooperate in this sphere.
The Voronezh-DM radar in Kaliningrad is a signal to the West that Russia will respond adequately to potential threats emanating from the U.S. anti-missile system in Europe, President Medvedev said:
"The Voronezh-DM radar is an instrument of aerospace control. It does not pose any threat to our neighbors. Its creation does not shut the door to dialogue on the issues we have been discussing with our colleagues. Its capabilities allow it to be used in the interests of a common European missile defense system. But this will depend on the ultimate approaches we expect NATO, the United States and European partners to formulate. The usual statements that the system of a phased and adaptive transition to European missile defense, which is currently being created, is not directed against Russia no longer suits us. Unfortunately, verbal assurances do not guarantee the protection of our interests. If other proposals are put forward, naturally we are ready to listen to them. But verbal statements are not enough. The radar that was put into operation today is not against you - it is for you and for addressing the tasks we are setting ourselves."
The up-to-date decimeter-band Kaliningrad radar will carry out aerospace surveillance across a vast territory from the North Pole to North Africa. It is capable of tracking a target at a distance of 6,000 km and consumes 40% less power than its predecessors. Another of its advantages is that it is easily movable and rapidly assembled.
The Kaliningrad radar is the first of the counter-measures announced by President Medvedev on November 23 in response to the unilateral deployment of the U.S. missile defense shield in Europe.