Archive for the ‘long-range missiles’ Category

Moscow Rejects Second Proposal Set On Missile Defense From U.S.

November 12, 2008

The Kremlin has rejected a second set of U.S. proposals offered to assuage increasingly strident Russian criticism of plans for an American missile-defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic, news agencies reported Wednesday.

The Bush administration says the system would protect Europe from attacks by Iranian long-range missiles. Moscow has angrily dismissed those assertions, saying the system could eliminate Russia‘s nuclear deterrent or spy on its military installations.

Iranian Shahab-2 (L) and Shahab-3 missiles stand on display ... 
Iranian Shahab-2 (L) and Shahab-3 missiles stand on display in front of a large portrait of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a square in south Tehran in September 2008. The United States denounced Iran’s claimed test of a new medium-range missile on Wednesday and warned Tehran to halt its ballistic missile program “immediately” amid a nuclear dispute with the West.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

In a major speech just hours after Barack Obama won the U.S. presidential vote, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev pledged to base short-range Iskander missiles in the Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad on the border with Poland if the U.S. goes forward with its plans.

By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press Writer Mike Eckel, Associated Press Writer

The Bush administration later sent Moscow a new set of proposals. Previous U.S. proposals involved, among other things, offers to allow Russia to send observers to monitor the missile defense sites. Russian and U.S. officials have not publicly disclosed the contents of the latest proposals.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this weekend after meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the latest proposals were insufficient. On Wednesday, an unnamed Kremlin official told Russian news agencies that Moscow was prepared to work with Washington on questions of European security. But the official accused the Bush administration of trying to limit the incoming Obama administration’s choices on the issue.

The Americans have presented us with several proposals. These proposals are inadequate, they have nothing new in them,” the official said.

The Kremlin did not comment on the report.

In Brussels, the Russian ambassador to the European Union said Medvedev’s speech had been intended as a signal to the Obama administration

“Russia has been warning the international community for many months that we would have to react,” Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov told reporters ahead of an EU-Russia summit Friday in Nice, France. “I don’t want to prejudge any decision that President-elect Obama will be taking, but I believe it’s best for him to know what to expect from Russia in case this decision is taken.”

An American official said separately that the U.S. and Russia will begin talks Thursday on finding a successor to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which expires at the end of next year.

The official said the talks will take place in the U.S. and Russian diplomatic missions in Geneva and last until Nov. 21.

The 1991 START treaty significantly cut U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals.

The official spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to be quoted by name.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow said the U.S. State Department’s third-ranked official, William Burns, met with Lavrov and Kremlin foreign policy aide Sergei Prikhodko Wednesday for discussions on various subjects, including talks on missile defense that would take place next month. No further details were released.

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Associated Press Writers Slobodan Lekic in Brussels and Bradley S. Klapper in Geneva contributed to this report.