Saint Petersburg (AFP) March 18, 2011
Defence Secretary Robert Gates, an ex-CIA chief, on Monday hailed Russia's refusal to block military action against Libya as evidence of "extraordinary" progress in US-Russia ties.
The former intelligence analyst said military ties between the two countries have made dramatic advances that would have seemed impossible when he joined the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960s amid the Cold War.
"Well, it's a lot different than it was in 1966, let me tell you," he told reporters on his plane before landing in Saint Petersburg on the first leg of a trip to Russia.
"No, I think if you look at the areas where we are cooperating and the kind of dialogue that we're having with the Russians, we have come quite a distance," Gates said.
Gates praised Russia for backing the US diplomatic stance on Iran and North Korea and its decision not to block last week's UN resolution approving military action against Libya.
"The fact that despite their reservations they didn't veto Resolution 1973" was an example of Moscow's cooperative relations with Washington, he said.
But the war in Libya threatened to overshadow the visit, with Russia's foreign ministry on Sunday calling for France, Britain, the United States and other countries to end what it called the "indiscriminate use of force."
Russia had abstained from the UN Security Council vote on taking military action to halt Moamer Kadhafi's assault on rebels and ruled out taking part in such an operation.
The Pentagon chief also cited Moscow's willingness to allow NATO to move troops and supplies by air and land across Russian territory in support of the war in Afghanistan as an example of improving relations.
"At this point we have probably sent more than 30,000 containers across Russia," said Gates, saying the figure "continues to amaze me."
"Russia's willingness to work with us in this I think is really extraordinary," he added.
Gates, who delayed his trip by a day to monitor the launch of US military missile and bombing attacks against Libya's regime, later touted "deepening" defence relations in an address to mid-level naval officers in Saint Petersburg on Monday.
He aknowledged differences over US plans for a missile defence shield in Europe.
But he also proposed possible cooperation with Moscow that could include "exchanging launch information, setting up a joint data fusion center, allowing greater transparency with respect to our missile defence plans and exercises, and conducting a joint analysis to determine areas of future cooperation."
While previous trips to Russia had been dominated by disputes over missile defences in Europe, this visit would cover a broader range of issues and reflected deepening military ties between the two countries, US officials said.
Missile defence is "not the driver for this visit (though) it will clearly be the subject of considerable conversation," press secretary Geoff Morrell said Friday.
Gates, who heads to Moscow on Tuesday to meet his Russian counterpart, Anatoly Serdyukov, and President Dmitry Medvedev, said the progress in US relations with Russia could not have been predicted in the early days of his career at the CIA.
"If you told me when I joined the CIA in 1967 that I would end my career helping to forge a stronger defence relationship with the Russians, I'd have been more than skeptical," he said in his speech.
With Gates vowing to step down later this year, the visit will mark his last trip to Russia as defence secretary. His address to the Russian officers marked a symbolic farewell to a country that has occupied so much of his time during his career.
"It will be up to you, the next generation of leaders, to make what you will of our efforts and decide what history you'll be telling when it's your turn to stand up here," he said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
France back in US favor amid Libya, Japan crises
Washington (AFP) March 20, 2011
France's assertive response to deadly unrest in Libya and its embrace of nuclear power amid Japan's atomic crisis drew praise this week from US politicians who eight years ago would likely have sung a very different tune. French warplanes carried out four air strikes in Libya at 1645 GMT Saturday, destroying several armored vehicles of forces loyal to embattled Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhaf ... read more
MEADS System Integration Begins At Italian Test Site|
Northrop Grumman and Boeing Submit ABM Simulation Architecture Proposal
Orbital Launches PTV For Missile Defense Test
Milestone Nears For European Missile Defense Plan
Russia to double missile production from 2013: Putin
China aims new missile at Taiwan: intelligence chief
India tests two nuclear-capable missiles
Trident II D5 Missile Achieves 135th Consecutive Test Flight
Northrop Grumman Ships First Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Fuselage
Dassault, BAE press ahead with drone plan
Mexico defends decision to use US drones in drug war
Death toll up to 24 in NW Pakistan drone strike: officials
Raytheon BBN Technologies To Protect Internet Comms For Military Abroad
Advanced Emulation Accelerates Deployment Of Military Network Technologies
Tactical Communications Group Completes Deployment Of Ground Support Systems
Raytheon Announces Next Generation of ACU Interoperable Communications
Second And Third Flights Of X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Completed
Lockheed Martin Support Enables High-Tempo F-22 Deployments Worldwide
PEO Ammo Picks Up 155mm Lightweight Howitzer Program
Raytheon Completes Work On Upgraded Early Warning Radar In Greenland
Elbit And IAI Establish Joint Company
GD Small Manufactures One Billion Rounds Of Ammunition For US Army
US hopes geopolitics can help land India jet deal
NATO creates task force to spend smarter
Obama, Rousseff take up security concerns
France back in US favor amid Libya, Japan crises
Gates lauds 'extraordinary' progress with Russia
India assesses Chinese military abilities
Scientists Build World's First Anti-Laser
Yale scientists build 'anti-laser'
'Air laser' could find bombs at a distance
ONR Achieves Milestone In Free Electron Laser Program
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|