No missile shield talks with Poles, Czechs: Russian envoyMarch 29th, 2008 - 1:34 pm ICT by admin
Brussels, March 29 (RIA Novosti) Russia will discuss contentious US plans to deploy a missile shield in central Europe only with Washington, not with host countries Poland and the Czech Republic, Moscow’s NATO envoy has said. The US intends to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, which it says will provide defence against ‘rogue states’ such as Iran, plans that Moscow views as a direct threat to its own security.
Answering a reporter’s question in Brussels Friday, Dmitry Rogozin said: “We will talk with the US, but not with the Poles and the Czechs.”
The issue, along with the CFE (Conventional Armed Forces in Europe) arms reduction treaty, is likely to be a focus of discussions between the Russian and US presidents when they meet in Romania and Sochi next month.
US President George W. Bush said Wednesday he had accepted Vladimir Putin’s invitation to visit his holiday residence in Sochi on the Black Sea April 6 after the April 2-4 NATO summit in Romania “to discuss the strategic agreement, a crucial part of which is missile defence”.
Russian and US diplomats held talks in Washington Wednesday and Thursday as a follow up to a visit to Moscow earlier this month by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
The top officials brought proposals giving Russia access to monitor the planned missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Rogozin called some elements of the proposals “ridiculous”, in particular the idea of Poles and Czechs being given access to Russian military sites inside Russia, in exchange for Russians being given access to US military sites outside the US, in central Europe.