Moscow (RIA Novosti) Jul 31, 2007
The United States cannot deploy a missile shield in Central Europe and at the same time accept Russia's offer for the use of the Gabala radar in Azerbaijan, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Friday. "Russia's proposals are an alternative, rather than a complement, to U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Europe," ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said. In Kamynin's comments, posted on the ministry's Web site, the spokesman discussed the results of a meeting of the NATO-Russia Joint Permanent Council held Wednesday, at which Russia sought to clarify proposals for alternative missile defense sites made to the U.S. by President Vladimir Putin.
Kamynin said Russia's delegation to the Brussels meeting had said that "missile defense systems affecting the interests of many states should be developed, built, and deployed on the basis of collective assessments of real missile threats."
"Importantly, such actions must not undermine regional or global stability, and must not result in new global dividing lines," he said.
The United States has sought to deploy the "third site" of its global missile defense - the first two being in Alaska and California - ostensibly to fend off a hypothetical missile attack from Iran, in Poland and Czech Republic.
Moscow has complained that the X-band radar slated to be part of the missile shield could be used to undermine its military capability, and has proposed that the U.S. use its Gabala radar in Azerbaijan and a future radar in South Russia's Krasnodar Territory instead.
Democrat-controlled Congress has several times slashed funds allocated for the "third site," and some European NATO members have questioned whether it makes sense to have missile defenses on the continent that are controlled by the U.S., rather than NATO.
Kamynin said The NATO-Russia Joint Permanent Council meeting "demonstrated that many NATO representatives share our view - that it is necessary to continue consultations to arrive at a mutually-acceptable result in which the concerns of all countries concerned are taken into account."
Meanwhile, "all efforts to set up the "third site" must be frozen," he said.
earlier related report
"We hope that the meeting would be productive and Russia and the US can agree to some serious cooperation on missile defense against common threats," a US official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Missile defense certainly occupies a large part of the agenda but the CFE treaty would also be discussed," the official said.
The talks among the technical experts are the first since US President George W. Bush agreed to study the missile shield plan first raised by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G8 summit in Germany last month.
Bush had called for a joint panel of experts to look into the issue.
The United States insists the shield that it wants based in Poland and the Czech Republic is aimed at knocking out the threat from nations such as Iran and North Korea. Russia says the plan threatens its security and has suggested that the United States and NATO use the Gabala radar station in ex-Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, near the Iranian border, instead of having a shield in central Europe.
Bush called Putin's proposal a "very constructive and bold strategic move," but insisted that "the Czech Republic and Poland need to be an integral part of this system."
Ahead of the Washington talks, Russia's foreign ministry said Friday that Russian-US cooperation on missile shield would be impossible if the United States deployed its own missile shield in Central Europe.
Putin's proposal "will be possible only if the US declines to deploy... a missile shield on European territory, as well as strike components in space," the ministry said in a statement in Moscow.
Although Russia said earlier this month it would stop complying with the 1990 CFE treaty, which limits the deployment of conventional arms in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his US counterpart last week that talks would continue on the issue.
Source: RIA Novosti
Source: Agence France-Presse
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Radars Without Missiles
Washington DC (UPI) Jul 27, 2007
The compromise cuts in U.S. plans to build new ballistic missile defense facilities in Europe, approved by a congressional panel Wednesday, will please nobody. For while the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives dealt a major blow Wednesday to President George W. Bush's plans to deploy U.S. anti-ballistic missile interceptors in Central Europe, it stopped short of scrapping the program. The full Appropriations Committee approved a $460 billion bill that included in all $298 million in cuts to the Bush administration's proposed missile defense programs. While large, they were not as massive as previously recommended by subcommittees.
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