Putin threatens to kill his customers

Times:

President Putin issued a stark warning yesterday that Europe would be turned into a “powder keg” if the United States was allowed to install a missile defence shield on the Continent.

President Putin backed up his harsh words with the successful test launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile that Russia said was designed specifically to evade such defence systems.

In what is becoming the most serious confrontation between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War Mr Putin made clear that Moscow was determined to confront the American plan to place missile defences in Eastern Europe. “We consider it harmful and dangerous to turn Europe into a powder keg and to stuff it with new weapons,” Mr Putin told José Socrates, the Portuguese Prime Minister, at a meeting in the Kremlin. “It creates new and unnecessary risks for the whole system of international and European relations.”

His message to Mr Socrates was calculated to divide member states of the European Union over the American proposal. Portugal assumes the EU presidency on July 1.

Mr Putin alarmed Nato by announcing last month that Russia would suspend its obligations under a landmark treaty limiting conventional forces in Europe because other states had not ratified the agreement. The Kremlin has called for an emergency conference in Vienna next month to resolve the issue amid warnings of a fresh arms race in Europe.

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This is more proof that Putin is not very smart. Threatening to kill you customers is not good business unless you are part of the mob and more and more Russia is looking like a RICO country. His paranoid fear of a limited missile defense system aimed at stopping rogue states like Iran defies common sense, since it was never designed to stop even Russia's old missile fleet. We could offer him an alternative, that if Iran attacks an undefended Europe we will attack Russia, if he is looking for a MAD resolution to his irrational concerns.

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