Russia demands permanent presence at US missile shield sitesApril 9th, 2008 - 12:02 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, April 9 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s main demand for the deployment of a US missile shield in Central Europe is “the constant presence of our officers and reliable technical monitoring”, the Russian foreign minister said. “It is important for us that we see where this radar looks every second, what is happening at the interceptor base in Poland,” Sergei Lavrov told the Moscow-based Ekho Moskvy radio Tuesday.
The US is planning to modify its X-band radar on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific and relocate it to the Czech Republic as part of its proposed European missile shield, which will also include 10 interceptor missiles in Poland.
The missile defence plans have been fiercely opposed by Russia, which views them as a direct threat to its national security, and have contributed to bringing Washington-Moscow relations to their lowest point since the Cold War.
Lavrov said proposals received by Russia from the US, “do not touch upon a constant presence, unlike verbally discussed ideas. They say the officers can be attached to Russian embassies in Poland and the Czech Republic and work at these facilities on a reciprocal basis”.
When asked by a journalist why Russia does not consider deploying military bases in Cuba in response to the US missile shield in Central Europe, Lavrov said: “Our actions should be dictated by pragmatism and a search for answers that won’t draw us into a new costly arms race.”
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