Archive for the ‘Georgis’ Category

NATO supports missile defense

April 4, 2008

BUCHAREST, Romania — President Bush heads into a weekend summit with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin after scoring victories at a NATO meeting yesterday, including a pathway to eventual NATO membership for two former Soviet republics and endorsement of his plan for a long-range missile defense system in Europe.
The Czech Republic yesterday formally agreed on a deal to place U.S. radar systems on its soil, to be “linked” with interceptor missiles in Poland — clearing a key diplomatic hurdle within the alliance.
A ballistic missile is fired from Hawaii during a test for the ... 
A missile is fired from Hawaii during part of  a test for the US missile defence system in 2007. The United States and the Czech Republic have reached agreement on the stationing in the Czech Republic of a US missile defense radar strongly opposed by Russia.(AFP/US NAVY)
Though Poland still has not formally agreed to participate, NATO backing of the plan gives Mr. Bush leverage in negotiations with the Russians, who strongly resist what they consider a threat.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called the unanimous missile defense endorsement a “breakthrough,” adding that, combined with its decision to hold out a clear prospect for eventual memberships to former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia, it was “a fine day for NATO.”
But Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian ambassador to NATO, doubted whether Ukraine or Georgia would be ready to begin the membership process, saying both countries had domestic problems that made their membership in the alliance problematic.
“I doubt very much that in less than a year Georgia can solve its territorial problems and Ukraine can change the current proportion of NATO sympathizers,” he said.
Mr. Putin meets with NATO leaders here today, and then hosts Mr. Bush at the Russian resort of Sochi on Sunday.
The two leaders are expected to discuss a wide-ranging bilateral cooperation accord, Russian help for NATO’s Afghanistan mission and the missile defense program. But the NATO endorsement appears to give Mr. Putin little chance of halting the system altogether.

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