Despite Talks With U.S., Russia Rejects Proposals
On Saturday, Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, and Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, discussed our country’s missile defense plans in Europe.
Russia says it will deploy short-range ballistic missiles on its western border around Kaliningrad if the U.S. installs missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Despite Secretary Rice’s attempts to ease Russia’s concerns about the bases, the Kremlin has rejected the proposals, but may revisit them once President-Elect Barack Obama takes office, according to Reuters. This rejection comes even after the U.S. offered to allow Russia to inspect the bases.
Russia believes the bases are a threat but “is ready to cooperate with the United States on European security but considers the proposals that were sent are insufficient.”
So all it not lost, it appears.
During the campaign, Obama said he would make sure the missile defense systems worked before deployment, and Congress held off on funding the projects until both countries’ parliaments ratified the agreements.
If the Czech Republic doesn’t allow its planned base, Poland may not get its base. Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski said, “Without a radar in the Czech Republic, the base in Poland will be useless…So the date for starting work on the base is not determined by the speed of our negotiations or by our ratification. The Czech ratification is its necessary condition.” (AP)
Polish President Lech Kaczynski and Obama met to discuss Poland’s missile defense shield. While Kaczynski believes the project will move forward, Obama has not committed to it. (AP)