Russia is to deploy short-range missiles to counter US plans to set up a missile defence system in Europe.
President Dmitry Medvedev made the announcement in his State of the Nation address when he also called for better relations with the United States.
“We do not have problems with the American people,” he told parliamentarians, top government officials, religious leaders and journalists gathered in the Kremlin.
“We do not have innate anti-Americanism. We hope that our partners, the new US administration, will make a choice in favour of fully-fledged relations with Russia.”
But he went on to warn that a planned US anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic would be “neutralized”.
“The Georgian army’s attack on Russian peacekeepers turned into a tragedy for thousands of people,” Medvedev said.
“Because of this provocation, tension rose throughout the region. This conflict was used as a pretext for sending NATO warships to the Black Sea. And then, for the forceful foisting on Europe of America’s anti-missile systems, which in turn will entail retaliatory measures by Russia.”
Those measures will include the deployment of Iskander mobile launch missiles with a range of up to 400 kilometres in the Kaliningrad region, Russia’s Baltic enclave adjacent to Poland, a NATO member.