Archive for the ‘Czech Republic’ Category

Russia’s Medvedev says he’s Upbeat About America With President Obama

December 4, 2008

President Dmitry Medvedev said he hopes Russia’s relations with the United States improve after President-elect Barack Obama takes office, according to an interview released Thursday.

Moscow’s relations with Washington have been strained by disputes over U.S. missile defense plans and Russia’s war with Georgia in August.

But Medvedev dismissed suggestions that the chill could lead to a new Cold War, and said he expects the new U.S. administration “to take constructive, reasonable stance, to show willingness to compromise on the most difficult issues.”

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,left, and Prime Minister Vladimir ...
When journalists see photographs like this from Russia they often ask, “Who is the school master?”  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,left, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seen at their meeting in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008.(AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Vladimir Rodionov, Presidential Press Service)

“What we have recently heard from Washington makes me feel moderately optimistic,” he said, without elaborating, in an interview with Indian Broadcasting Corporation Doordarshan that was posted on the Kremlin Web site Thursday.

Medvedev and Obama spoke by telephone last month, but the details of the conversation were not released.

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Russia Says It Needs New Missiles Due To U.S. Missile Shield Plan

November 28, 2008

Russia’s military said on Friday it had intensified efforts to develop new ballistic missiles in response to U.S. plans to deploy an anti-missile system in Europe and Russia’s navy test fired a new generation rocket.

Soldiers in historical uniforms take part in a military parade ... 
Soldiers in historical uniforms take part in a military parade in the Red Square in Moscow, November 7, 2008.(Denis Sinyakov/Reuters)

The decision by the United States to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic has angered Moscow, which says Russia’s national security will be compromised by the U.S. anti-missile system.

By Conor Sweeney, Reuters

Colonel-General Nikolai Solovtsov, Commander of Russia‘s Strategic Missile Forces, was quoted by Interfax as saying that Russia had bolstered its efforts to develop new missiles.

“At the present time, work has been intensified to create the research and technical foundation for new missile systems, which will be needed after 2020,” Solovtsov said.

A few hours later, the Dmitry Donskoy nuclear submarine launched a Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile from the White Sea, a navy spokesman said. The missile hit the Kura testing site on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Pacific.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev visits cosmodrome Plesetsk, ... 
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev visits cosmodrome Plesetsk, which is nestled among the taiga forests of Russia’s north, October 12, 2008.REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov

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Czech Senate Approves U.S. Missile Defense Shield

November 27, 2008

The upper chamber of the Czech parliament on Thursday approved a deal with Washington to accept a U.S. missile defense installation.

The Associated Press

The deal still needs approval by the lower chamber, where the vote is expected to be close because the governing coalition has too few seats to guarantee passage. That vote is not expected before the end of the year.

The proposed U.S. missile defense system calls for a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland as part of a shield designed to protect the region from possible attacks from Iran.

The Senate approved both treaties involved in the deal — the main bilateral treaty allowing the United States to build a radar base near Prague and the second, “complementary,” treaty that deals with the legal status of U.S. soldiers to be deployed at the base.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,458395,00.html

Poland Won’t Lobby Obama on Missile Defense

November 20, 2008

Poland’s foreign minister said yesterday that his country will wait for the Obama administration to make up its mind on basing missile defense interceptors in his country and will not lobby to have the project proceed.

Saying that the Warsaw government had agreed “out of friendship” to the Bush administration proposal to establish a U.S. base for 10 interceptor missiles in Poland, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski added: “We will tread carefully and wait until the new administration makes its decision.”

By Walter Pincus
The Washington Post
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The controversial European basing plan, which also involves placing a U.S. radar unit in the Czech Republic, is to be part of a broader missile defense system that the Bush administration has said is designed to intercept Iranian missiles aimed either at U.S. or European targets. Russia has voiced strong objections to the plan.

Sikorski’s remarks, made during an appearance at the Atlantic Council of the United States, a bipartisan foreign policy organization, reflect the modification of a statement posted Nov. 8 on the Web site of Polish President Lech Kaczynski. The statement said that during Kaczynski’s conversation congratulating Barack Obama, the president-elect said that “the missile defense project would continue.”
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9/AR2008111903737.html

Russia Already Bullying Barack

November 19, 2008

Barack Obama campaigned on the promise of “change,” but one change the president-elect may be planning on – not deploying a US missile defense in Eastern Europe – would be a big mistake.

Indeed, it’s exactly the type of about-face that nations like Russia, Iran and North Korea hope for from the incoming administration.

Worse, it will likely be seen abroad as knuckling to Russian bullying.

Two weeks ago, just a day after the US elections, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a virulently anti-American speech – his first major address since taking office this spring and arguably the first foreign “test” of the president-elect.

Amid other ranting, Medvedev demanded that the United States back off on its planned missile-defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic.

If the deployment goes ahead, Medvedev warned, Moscow will place short-range missiles in Kaliningrad – a Russian enclave nestled between NATO members Poland and Lithuania.

A few days after the Medvedev speech, a senior Obama aide came out after a phone call between the president-elect and Polish President Lech Kaczynski saying that Obama had “made no commitment on” missile defense.

Ugh. That’s not a certain retreat by Washington in the face of Moscow’s threats, but it’s a very troubling start for the Obama team on a key national-security issue.

Going wobbly caused heartburn in Warsaw and Prague, where both governments went to the mat to get approval for the missile-defense deal – and glee in Moscow, Tehran and Pyongyang. What rogue doesn’t love a whiff of wobbliness?

And the stakes rose just days later, when The Wall Street Journal reported that Russia is now in talks to deploy missiles in Belarus, which could be bore-sighted on targets across Europe.

(Belarus’ motive? It’s probably looking for Russian help on energy supplies and financial credits – or, if Europe wants to bribe it to reject the missiles, for an easing of EU economic sanctions imposed over human-rights issues.)

The next step in this ongoing lesson for the president-elect came Friday – when French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a halt to European missile defense until more talks can be held.

Sarkozy’s words, at a European Union-Russia summit, were a clear sop to fellow attendee Medvedev – at the expense of the United States and the president-elect. (Shamefully, the EU is re-engaging Russia despite Moscow’s failure to meet the EU six-point peace plan for Georgia.)

But the issue isn’t just bullying – there’s the policy, too. This system is designed to defend against the Iranian missile and nuclear threat – which is growing fast.

By Peter Brookes
The New York Post

Testing O's spine in Europe.
Medvedev: Testing O’s spine in Europe.

Just last week, Tehran tested a two-stage, solid-fuel ballistic missile – whose 1,200-mile range would let it hit all of the Middle East and parts of southeastern Europe.

If reports of the Iranian test are true, this would be Tehran’s first successful test of a multistage rocket – which would put it on track for launching missiles to ever-increasing ranges, including intercontinental distances. The test also showed advances in Iran’s basic rocketry science, moving beyond liquid fuels to a more reliable solid-fuel rocket motor.

This is an images released  Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at ...
This is an images released Wednesday Nov. 12, 2008 taken at an undisclosed location in Iran, showing a missile test fire by Iranian armed forces. Iran has successfully test-fired a new generation of long range surface-to-surface missile using solid fuel, making them more accurate than its predecessors, the defense minister announced Wednesday. Mostafa Mohammed Najjar said on state television that the Sajjil was a high-speed missile manufactured at the Iranian Aerospace department of the Defense Ministry. He said it had a range of about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers).(AP Photo/Fars News Agency, Vahid Reza Alaei)

The last thing we need is to look “soft” on Iran’s nuclear and missile programs.

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http://www.nypost.com/seven/11182008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/
missile_defense__bullying_barack_139253.htm

Belarus Not Planning to Deploy Russian Missiles to Counter U.S., Face Poland and Czech Republic

November 18, 2008

Belarus said it isn’t negotiating with Russia about placing short-range Iskander missiles inside the former Soviet state as a counter to the U.S. missile-shield project.

Belarus has no plans to deploy the missiles as part of Russia’s response to the U.S. missile-shield project in Poland and the Czech Republic, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its Web site late yesterday. The country may acquire the missiles as part of modernizing its military, according to the statement.

By Paul Abelsky, Bloomberg

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko supported Russia’s plan to deploy Iskander missiles in its Baltic Kaliningrad exclave and was negotiating to place them inside Belarus, the Wall Street Journal said on Nov. 14. citing an interview with Lukashenko.

Russia and The West: How To Reverse Escalation of Tension and Confrontation?

November 18, 2008

Barely one hour after Barack Obama’s victory speech, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to deploy missiles in Russia’s westernmost region of Kaliningrad that could attack U.S. military targets in Poland. The targets are limited, small in number and do not yet really exist: They will exist if and when the United States completes the ballistic missile defense system it plans to place in Poland, along with a sophisticated radar component in the Czech Republic.

The reaction in Europe and the United States ranged from outrage in Poland to serious concern at NATO headquarters and disappointment in the White House. Russia claims it has been backed into a corner by U.S. erosion of key cornerstones of European and global security and by aggressive moves to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into areas that affect Russia’s vital security interests.

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Chinese President ... 
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Chinese President Hu Jintao shake hands during a bilateral meeting after the G20 Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy in Washington November 15, 2008.REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Vladimir Rodionov

How did we arrive at this point? Russia sees new threats from NATO and the United States, and they see new threats from Russia. And even where they see common dangers — as in the case of potential and actual missile threats from Asia and the Middle East — they cannot find common ground on how to deal with them. How do we reverse this steady escalation of tension and confrontation?

By Greg Austin
UPI

Related:
Russia’s Medvedev Learned PR Skills from Hitler, Chavez, Khrushchev and Putin?

Russia’s Putin and the Great Deception

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Poland, Czech Republic Ask U.S. To Keep Missile Defense Plans; Telling France, Sarkozy, Medvedev to “Bugger Off”

November 17, 2008

Poland and the Czech Republic hope that the new U.S. administration does not change its plans for a missile shield in Central Europe, the Euronews television channel reported on Saturday.

“We are not waiting for, even on political grounds, any kind of revolution. But of course, a new president looks at everything in a new way,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Saturday.

“We know the position of the newly elected president – he told me himself that he wants to be sure that thing works,” the Polish foreign minister added in comments broadcast on Euronews.

From: RIA Novosti

Under President George Bush, Washington has worked hard to reach agreements with Warsaw and Prague on the deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar station in the Czech Republic.

The U.S. has insisted that the missile shield is intended to protect against attacks from “rogue states” such as Iran. Russia has protested strenuously against the system as a threat to its national security.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, speaks with President ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, speaks with President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev during the EU-Russia summit, in Nice, southern France, Friday, Nov. 14, 2008.  They agreed with each other but leaders in Poland, the Czech Republic and the U.S. said “bugger off.”(AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, who takes office in January, has been noncommittal on missile defense. After his election victory, a senior foreign policy adviser, Denis McDonough, said he would only continue with the project if its effectiveness was proven.

Euronews also reported that the leaders of Poland and the Czech Republic had been surprised by the declaration of French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday that the missile defense system would not improve Europe’s security.

“We should not talk about deployment of a missile shield, which would do nothing to bring security,” Sarkozy said at a news conference with President Dmitry Medvedev after the EU-Russia summit in the French resort city of Nice.

Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said in a statement to reporters he “was surprised” by Sarkozy’s remarks.

“As far as the French presidency’s mandate for the EU-Russia summit is concerned, it contains no mention of the anti-missile shield,” he said.

France holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union.

An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch ... 
An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch platform during a test firing at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert in this image released to Fars News by the military November 12, 2008.  Iran says these missiles can now reach Israel and into Europe.REUTERS/FARS NEWS

Russia’s Putin and the Great Deception

November 16, 2008

Vladimir Putin is a world-class master at getting what he wants.  Now he seems poised to return to the presidency of Russia for another term in a few years and he seems to have convinced many, by deception, that missile defenses in Europe are a threat to Russia.

Conceived way back during the Ronald Reagan presidency and often derisively called “Star Wars” or the missile shield, U.S. missile defense is no threat to Russia or anyone else.  Like a defensive basketball or football player, missile defense is designed and used to block destructive attacking missiles from reaching their goals.

Russia has manipulated the world media for almost two decades to create the illusion that missile defense is some threat to Russians.  In fact, no missile defense missile has the capability of harming Russia or Russians: the “kill mechanism” of a missile defense interceptor is the kinetic energy or crashing into the attacking missile.  The missile defense missile has no warhead — unlike intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry 10 or so nuclear warheads, each capable of annihilating millions of people and entire cities.

The U.S. missile defense effort for Europe has been a long and painstaking discussion going back two decades.  Along with thousands of others, I participated myself in these discussions, forums and conferences, in the early 1990s, on two levels: first as co-chairman of a NATO study (one of several) to determine the efficacy and implications of a European missile defense to stop missiles like those being developed by Iran targeted on Europe; and then on U.S. government missions to Moscow to show with credible evidence that a U.S. missile defense was no threat to Russia — or anybody.

By the middle 1990s, the Russians seemed to agree that U.S. missile defenses, even in Europe, were no threat to Russia or Russians.

In 2002, the United States, after years of notification to Russia and discussions with Russia, withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty which had been made with the Soviet Union.  This action was necessary to permit testing of U.S. missile defenses — which had targets and interceptors that could have posed an international legal discussion vis-a-vis the treaty.

Then an interesting thing happened.  Vladimir Putin in Russia decided that he wanted a resurgent Russia with renewed superpower status, like that enjoyed during the Cold War Soviet era.  As Russia developed its oil reserves, exports gave him the financial clout he needed despite an aging and creaky military machine.  But an expert at media and public manipulation, Putin went to work to achieve his goals and to stifle U.S. objectives on many fronts.

Putin Medvedev
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Above: Vladimir Putin speaks with his presidential successor, Dmitry Medvedev, in parliament May 8, 2008. Putin brought Medvedev from the post of Charman of Gazprom, Russia’s oil giant, to become his chief of staff and later preident.  Now Medvedev has proposed a longer term for Russia’s president and it is no secret that Putin wants to come back as President of Russia.  Photo: Sergei Chirikov AFP/Getty Images

The suave, handsome and articulate Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev are also quick to reveal clumsy bluster and intimidation — which is what the recent threat to move Iskander missiles closer to Poland seems to have been.

Russia also attacked neighbors in Georgia and South Ossetia — quickly turning ignored intimidation into acts of war.

Russia continues a very aggressive trade relationship with Iran, which continues to develop more capable ballistic missiles, nuclear technology (with Russian help) and sends verbal assaults at least weekly at Israel and the U.S. (“Israel should be wiped from the map,” said Iran’s President Ahmadinejad).

Efforts to slow or stop Iran’s nuclear development in the United Nations are routinely thwarted by Russia and China.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Now a global media tired of George W. Bush and enamored by Barack Obama has absolutely no time for the truth of the missile defense situation.  This weekend Agence France-Presse (AFP) wrote a photograph caption on a picture of French President Sarkozy and Russian President Medvedev which read, “Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields.” (see below)

The fact is that U.S. missile defense threatens nobody — with missiles incabale of landing on Russian targets and without warheads.  The U.S. has even offered Russia the opportunity to place Russian inspectors at U.S. missile defense sites, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year to ensure no sneaky bad guys alter these defensive systems for attack.  The difficulty of converting a missile defense system for attack is, well, like secretly and quickly rerouting the Space Shuttle from a mission to the International Space Station and then attempting a manned landing on Mars.  Russia knows this is a crazy notion — but many in the media and others have swallowed this brainless Russian borscht.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, before the Europe-Russia finance reform summit in Nice southern France. Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields Friday and called for talks on Europe’s future security. (AFP/Valery Hache)
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NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer called the Russian remarks on moving missiles in Europe unsolicited, unnecessary and unhelpful.

Russia has also said that a missile defense system in Europe will “negate” its thousands of nuclear armed missiles.  But the European missile defense system is only intended to have 10 interceptors — which would be easily and quickly overwhelmed by a Russian attack.

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Threating people in Europe with nuclear destruction is a gossly over the top Russian act of instigation and intimidation — and it makes no sense in the post-Cold War world.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ribert Gates said the threat from Russia, made just after the U.S. election of President-elect Barack Obama, was “hardly the welcome a new American administration deserves. Such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided.”

“Quite frankly I’m not clear what the missiles would be for in Kaliningrad, after all the only real emerging threat on Russia’s periphery is in Iran and I don’t think the Iskander missile has the range to get there from Kaliningrad,” Gates added. “Why they would threaten to point missiles at European nations seems quite puzzling to me.”
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Medevev and supposedly Putin have now backed away from their threat to move Iskander missiles but they have created an incredible fog of lies in the air — which many in the international media and elsewhere have swollowed.

U.S. missile defense, and the European effort with Poland and the Czech Republic, is no threat to Russia or anybody else.  It is a system to bat down incoming nuclear warheads from long-range missiles, like those Iran continues to test.

By John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
In Russia’s Putin-Medvedev shuffle, Putin is the lead dancer
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Russia’s Medvedev Learned PR Skills from Hitler, Chavez, Khrushchev and Putin?
.
Poland, Czech Republic Ask U.S. To Keep Missile Defense Plans; Telling France, Sarkozy, Medvedev to “Bugger Off”

An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch ... 
An Iranian surface-to-surface missile lifts off from a launch platform during a test firing at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert in this image released to Fars News by the military November 12, 2008.  Iran says these missiles can now reach Israel and into Europe.REUTERS/FARS NEWS

Medvedev backpedals on missile threats

November 16, 2008
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Saturday that Russia will not carry out its threats to deploy new missiles facing Europe and that the advent of a new U.S. administration provides “great opportunities” to overcome other differences between the United States and his country.

By Barbara Slavin
The Washington Times

In Washington to attend a meeting of the world’s 20 largest economies, Mr. Medvedev suggested that the global financial crisis had a potential silver lining.

“I believe we have great opportunities to restore relations to the fullest extent, and we can build them on a new foundation,” the Russian leader told the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Medvedev stunned President-elect Barack Obama by delivering a harsh speech in Moscow the day after the U.S. elections. The Russian threatened to put missiles in the enclave of Kaliningrad if the United States carries out plans to deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic.

On Saturday, he said he meant “nothing personal” by the timing of the speech. “I absolutely forgot about the important political event taking place that day,” he said.

 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations at the Washington Club Saturday in Washington. (Associated Press)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev speaks at an event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations at the Washington Club Saturday in Washington. (Associated Press)

The Bush administration has said that the missile defenses are intended for Iran, but Russia objects to their deployment so close to its borders and says they are aimed at Russian targets.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday also seemed to back down from comments critical of the planned missile-defense system.

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/nov/16/medvedev-backpedals-on-missile-
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