Russia threatens to block NATO routes
Trucks carrying NATO supplies to US-led forces in Afghanistan (file photo)
Russia has threatened to block NATO's supply routes to Afghanistan, should the Western military alliance continue to disregard Moscow's concerns about the US-led defense shield for Europe, a report says.
Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitri Rogozin warned that Moscow will review its cooperation with the Western military alliance on Afghanistan if the NATO fails to address Russia's objections, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned that direct actions will be taken if his country's concerns are not addressed.
Medvedev envisioned possible missile attacks on Poland, Romania, Spain, and Turkey as a means to disable the counter-missile batteries, if the United States fails to acknowledge the concerns of the Russian defense officials.
He also warned that the country will deploy nuclear weapons to European borders in response to the move.
Russia's threats to suspend the NATO supply lines to Afghanistan coincides with a similar punitive measure taken by Pakistan on Saturday in retaliation to the US-led alliance's recent airstrikes on Pakistani military forces, which killed 24 soldiers.
NATO started using safer routes in Russia to deliver its supplies to its forces since Washington and Moscow reset diplomatic relations in 2009.
The Russian government has long opposed the NATO's disputed plan of deploying an anti-missile shield in Europe, arguing that the would-be system in its "backyard” is not to secure Washington's European allies, but is effectively aimed at Russia.
NATO claims that the anti-missile shield is planned to thwart possible attacks from 'rogue' states, and it will go ahead with the plan despite Russia's concerns.