Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
NATO Chief to Discuss Missile Defense With Russian Foreign Minister
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is slated to discuss a West vs. Russia dispute on missile defense with Moscow's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, next week in New York City, Interfax reported.
Russia objects to the Western military alliance's plan to construct a ballistic missile defense system covering Europe that would coordinate and enhance individual member states' antimissile programs. A partially implemented U.S. initiative to field increasingly sophisticated sea- and land-based missile interceptors around the continent forms the core of the NATO effort. The allies maintain the defensive shield is intended as protection from any missiles fired from the Middle East, but the Kremlin is deeply suspicious the interceptors would be capable against its own ICBMs.
"Meetings of the Russian Foreign minister and the (alliance) secretary general on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly sessions have become a tradition in recent years," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said in a Thursday interview. "This is a good opportunity to compare positions on the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation areas."
The former Cold War antagonists nearly two years ago at a summit in Lisbon agreed to explore areas for potential antimissile collaboration. Multiple rounds of talks since then have failed to bridge the principal difference between the two sides -- Washington's refusal to provide Moscow with legally binding guarantees on the use of its interceptors in Europe.
Grushko acknowledged the lack of any gains made in the antimissile talks. "Unfortunately, currently there is no real advancement. Moreover, NATO has announced the initial readiness of the missile defense shield. That means we effectively face the 'fait accompli' policy," the Xinhua News Agency quoted him as saying.
The deputy foreign minister was referring to the April declaration by the alliance that it had established an interim capability to protect parts of Europe from ballistic missiles. That capability comprises two U.S. destroyers equipped with Aegis missile interceptors in rotation in the Mediterranean: an early warning radar station in Turkey and a command-and-control center based in Germany.
Separately, a senior Russian lawmaker warned his government might break off talks within the Russia-NATO Council if Georgia is granted alliance membership, Interfax separately reported.
The Western military bloc has called for Georgia to implement certain democratic reforms before it is admitted into the 28-member nuclear alliance.
"The entry into NATO is sort of a problem, especially in the context of missile defense plans," Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Alexi Pushkov said in Thursday remarks to reporters.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has said he would welcome U.S. antimissile systems into his country, which borders Russia.
"Russia may react, and I believe the reaction will be rather definite," Pushkov said, noting how Moscow suspended participation in the NATO-Russia Council for one year following the 1999 NATO military intervention in the former Yugoslovia during the Kosovo War. "We may act similarly again."
Building Mutual Security in the Euro-Atlantic Region: Report Prepared for Presidents, Prime Ministers, Parliamentarians, and Publics
April 3, 2013
This report is the result of a Track II dialogue including distinguished former senior political leaders, senior military officers, defence officials, and security experts from Europe, Russia, and the United States.
April 2, 2013
An op-ed in The International Herald Tribune urging today's leaders to move decisively and permanently toward a new security strategy in the Euro-Atlantic region.
This article provides an overview of Russia’s historical and current policies relating to nuclear, chemical, biological and missile proliferation.