The text of the "framework agreement", published in the American press and alleged to be a "secret" document, evokes nothing but keen caution. This refers to all its articles. They pursue the purpose of deploying theatre missile defence systems (TMD) in areas, which the American military establishment may deem dangerous. In such cases, the text says, the Pentagon will only have to notify Russia about the places where these systems will be deployed, "including areas outside the national territory." Such notifications will be made "annually." "If the leadership of our country displays concern about the U.S. actions, the document envisages the holding of consultations to `do away with this concern', which, of course, cannot guarantee the observance of the 1972 ABM Treaty," General Gomenkov holds.
The expert believes that the situation could be rectified if the Russian delegation to the Geneva Standing Consultative Commission on the ABM Treaty (two rounds of talks will be held there until December 20) actively came out in behalf of Russia's national interests. The delegation, Gomenkov said, has every right to vigorously demand the observance of the ABM Treaty in light of the cardinally changed situation in the world and in Europe (NATO's eastward enlargement), and considering the latest events on the Balkans.
Creation and deployment of new ABM systems (both ground and naval-based) near the borders of Russia will inevitably undermine Russia's ability to protect its territory from a missile attack. TMD complexes, no matter how some people want to whitewash them, are intended to destroy strategic missiles during their launching. "The violation of nuclear parity, to which this will lead, may produce unpredictible results," the general said.