Putin is back in the 20th Century on this one: "We think it would be harmful and dangerous to turn Europe into a tinderbox and fill it with new types of armaments," Mr Putin said.
Russia has test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile and claims to have fired it almost entirely across its northern air space to eastern Siberia. That means they could hit Europe if they wanted to.
So if Eastern Europe gets a missile shield, Russia will up the ante with showing off its new missiles. Whee! Haven't we been here before? It's a new arms race.
Remember Kissinger's balance of power politics that got us into Vietnam? That's where Putin's head is at. He is threatening Europe with fire if they install missile defense shields in Eastern Europe. Why would Russia feel threatened by that anyway? It's not as if they are planning on sending missiles into Europe, right? Or do they just want the option?
Putin should instead worry about the other rising powers of the 21st century: Brazil, China, India-Pakistan, Indonesia. He's fighting some kind of self-esteem war over the losses of the Soviet Empire. Get over it, dude. Europe won't be cowed so easily again.
Click on the title to this post for the story in the The Sydney Morning Herald.