Putin cites missile crisis, decries shield
Russian President Vladimir V. Putin evoked one of the most dangerous confrontations of the Cold War to highlight Russian opposition to a proposed U.S. missile defense system in Europe, comparing it to the Cuban missile crisis of 45 years ago.
Putin used a news conference at the conclusion of a Portugal summit with the European Union to reiterate Russia’s objections to U.S. plans to put elements of the system in the former Soviet bloc countries of Poland and the Czech Republic, both now NATO members.
“Analogous actions by the Soviet Union, when it deployed missiles in Cuba, prompted the Caribbean crisis,” Putin said, using the Russian term for the Cuban missile crisis.
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said there were “clear historical differences” between a defensive U.S. shield and the offensive nuclear capability of the Soviet missiles.