Russia on International Missile Defense Cooperation
It is common knowledge that Russia is highly critical of our country’s plans to build missile defense shields in Poland and the Czech Republic. It is also well known that President Barack Obama is ambivalent about the agreements, signed while George Bush was still in office. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country seeks “international cooperation” between Russia and the U.S. over launching a third missile defense site in Central Europe.
An excerpt of Lavrov’s statement, via Itar-Tass:
“In the course of the discussion on the third launch area for the global missile defence, the United States did not assume obligations regarding the terms of access to the third launch area facilities by Russian officials.
“In addition, Poland and the Czech Republic object to our permanent presence. On the whole, the measures of ‘transparency and trust’ that were proposed to us were rather symbolic and could not help ease the Russian concerns.
“Russia has proposed an alternative to the third launch area: foster international cooperation in the field of missile defence, assess missile threats and, if need be, work our joint response measures. This initiative remains in force. We are waiting for the new U.S. administration’s reply.”
Russia could not have picked a better time to ask for concessions from the U.S. Obama is in an appeasement mood. While Russia claims to want cooperation, its leaders have made themselves clear: Russia views our proposed missile defense shields with hostility and apparently, so does Obama.
Senator Susan Collins, who was in Europe recently, confirms that Russia is “wary” of possible missile defense shields in Central Europe. A member of the Armed Services Committee, Collins said Russia isn’t ready to agree to the bases, which they perceive as threats against their security. (Source)