Russia Demands ‘Red Button’ Rights for European Missile Shield

11 April 2011 (Last Updated April 11th, 2011 18:30)

Russia is seeking 'red button' rights to a new US-backed missile defence system for Europe, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov has said. "In practical terms, that means that our office will sit ... and agree on a red button push to launch an interceptor missile, regardless of whe

Russia is seeking 'red button' rights to a new US-backed missile defence system for Europe, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergey Ivanov has said.

"In practical terms, that means that our office will sit ... and agree on a red button push to launch an interceptor missile, regardless of whether the missile is launched from Poland, Russia or the UK," he added.

Red button rights will allow Russia to influence the missile defence shield's day-to-day operational use, according to the Telegraph.

Russia had earlier stated that its nuclear forces will be increased if it was excluded or granted only a junior role in the project.

The US Defense Secretary Robert Gates had offered to share information about the new system and to build a joint data centre with Russia.

The US-backed missile shield is to protect Europe and itself from long-range missile attacks from enemy states such as Iran.