Date: 2008-08-20 21:03:40
www.news.com.au/stor… Russia threatens nuclear attackBy Matthew Lee and Anne Gearan in Tbilisi August 17, 2008 02:37am RUSSIA warned Poland yesterday it faced a nuclear attack if it accepts a US missile interceptor base on its soil. The ominous rhetoric came as Moscow signed a treaty to stop the fighting in neighbouring Georgia, another US ally which is seeking to join NATO like Poland. US and Polish officials signed a deal on Thursday for Poland to host a system the US says is aimed at blocking attacks by rogue nations, such as Iran. But Moscow is convinced the base is aimed at Russia’s missile force. “Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike; 100 per cent,” General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff of Russia’s armed forces, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. He added that Russia’s military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons “against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons, if they in some way help them”. General Nogovitsyn also said that would include elements of strategic deterrence systems. President Dmitry Medvedev said the deal “absolutely, clearly demonstrates what we had said earlier: the deployment has the Russian Federation as its target”. But last night, Mr Medvedev signed the plan for a ceasefire in Georgia that his Georgian counterpart reluctantly agreed to a day earlier, setting the stage for a Russian troop withdrawal after more than a week of warfare. The Russian leader signed the order in the resort city of Sochi, where the president has a summer residence, Mr Medvedev’s spokesman Alexei Pavlov said. The ceasefire plan calls for Russian forces to withdraw to the positions they held before the fighting broke out in Georgia’s Russian-backed separatist province of South Ossetia. That appears to mean that hundreds of Russian soldiers who had been in South Ossetia previously as peacekeepers will be allowed to return. Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the US agreed to help augment Poland’s defences with Patriot missiles in exchange for placing 10 missile defence interceptors in the country.