Russia says it is prepared to use "destructive force pre-emptively" should the United States go ahead with plans for a controversial missile defense system based in Central Europe.
The saber-rattling came from the chief of the Russian defense staff General Nikolai Makarov, who stated that "A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens." The warning comes after both the US and Russia have been at odds over the planned European missile defense program, which was first introduced in 2000 by then-US president George W. Bush.
Two days of talks opened on Thursday in Moscow between Russia, the US and NATO in an attempt to resolve the rising tensions between the two superpowers, who have seen relations between the countries deteriorate over the past decade, after an extended period of détente following the collapse of the former Soviet Union.
General Makarov also warned that if the US goes ahead with the missile system in Europe, Russia would respond by putting more powerful warheads on its own ballistic missiles throughout the region.