-At the same time, the US tells us to address NATO, while the alliance sends us to Washington again. The negotiations with Russia are being delayed, while the US is making steps to implement third and fourth stages of its European missile shield, which will certainly affect the Russian strategic potential. And this is the scenario what we are trying to avoid but which will be implemented within 5-8 years.
On September 14th the US and Romania signed an agreement to house a missile defense shield in southern Romania. The document was signed in Washington by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Romania`s Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi. Also on Tuesday the US President Barack Obama had an unplanned meeting with his Romanian counterpart Traian Băsescu. A statement released by the White House says Obama congratulated Băsescu on signing a missile defense agreement with the US. Both countries insist that the agreement is not aimed to undermine the Russian security.
Mr. Konstantin Kosachev, Head of the Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, commented on the issue in an interview with the VoR.
The US-Romanian missile defense agreement should be viewed from both military and political angles. In military terms, this agreement allows placing a missile defense shield, which will ensure protection against medium-range missiles, which Russia simply does not have.
This shield cannot protect against ICBMs. So, I`d like to stress that this shield won`t upset the strategic balance. However, we know that Russia, the US and NATO have been discussing the prospects for joint anti-missile cooperation. And in view of this, any unilateral steps, which are obviously aimed to undermine the strategic balance, impede the Russia-US talks on this sensitive issue and thus put the earlier achieved strategic arms reduction treaty at risk. Before ratifying the new START treaty, Russia said that it might quit the treaty in case Washington`s plans to deploy its missile elements in Europe would pose a threat to Russia`s security. I think this is exactly the case with Romania.
What was the reaction of our European partners? Do you think that plans to set up an autonomous missile defense shield in Europe prevent Russia and NATO from productive cooperation on security?
We still have not received a more or less clear explanation from our partners on the future of the European missile defense. We are aware of the US plans but who can tell how they will affect Europe, or whether they will be transformed into some NATO-run projects.
I think that NATO is not aware of it, too, which makes the situation even more complicated. So, we have to negotiate the issue with both Washington and Brussels. At the same time, the US tells us to address NATO, while the alliance sends us to Washington again. The negotiations with Russia are being delayed, while the US is making steps to implement third and fourth stages of its European missile shield, which will certainly affect the Russian strategic potential. And this is the scenario what we are trying to avoid but which will be implemented within 5-8 years.
Unfortunately, time is wasted as long as our American partners are not ready to take Russia`s concerns seriously.
Stop NATO e-mail list home page with archives and search engine:
Stop NATO website and articles: