Russia rejects latest US proposal on missile defense

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Russia has rejected the latest proposal from the United States on missile defense aimed at easing Russian concerns over the deployment of American MIM-104 Patriot anti-ballistic missiles in European countries near Russia. This is according to reports by ITAR-Tass, RIA Novosti and Interfax, all of which cited an unnamed Kremlin official as saying that the US proposal did not go far enough.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2007

"Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States on European security but considers the proposals that were sent are insufficient," the source said. "We will not give our agreement to these proposals and we will speak to the new administration."

We will not give our agreement to these proposals and we will speak to the new administration.

—Russian government source

The United States under the George W. Bush administration has recently made several proposals, including one, that offered to allow Russia to send observers to monitor the missile sites. Neither country has revealed what the latest offer included.

Russia has repeatedly expressed its view that missile deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic do not serve to enhance US or European security, but rather they undermine Russian national security.

Barack Obama, United States president-elect, in 2005

Mere hours after Barack Obama was elected as the next US president, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said in an address to his country that Russia might install short-range, high-precision tactical missiles in Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad is a Russian territory, disconnected from the rest of the country, and situated between Poland and Lithuania, which are both NATO members.

Barack Obama, who is due to be sworn-in as president of the United States on January 20, 2009, made no commitments to the missile program during his campaign for office.

"Obama's position is as it was throughout the campaign: he supports deploying a missile defense system when the technology is proved to be workable," said Denis McDonough, a foreign-policy advisor for Obama.


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