#11 - JRL 2009-172 - JRL Home
Abandonment of missile shield promotes progress in nuclear nonproliferation - Kokoshin

MOSCOW. Sept 17 (Interfax) - The Obama administration's decision
not to deploy elements of the strategic missile defense system in Europe
was logical and predictable, said Andrei Kokoshin, a lawmaker, and
academic at the Russian Academy of Sciences and ex-secretary of the
Russian Security Council.

"This decision did not come as a surprise for professionals. It was
a step in the right direction from the political point of view, and it
can be welcomed as something positive," Kokoshin told Interfax-AVN on

The abandonment of the plan to deploy the U.S. missile shield in
Europe creates a better environment for promoting Russian-U.S.
cooperation in the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he

"The missile shield vision that was being formed under the Bush
administration was, on the one hand, very provocative for Russia, but,
on the other, was bringing nothing real in terms of security to the
United States. Many serious experts and professionals in this field were
well aware of that," Kokoshin said.

From the start, many members of the Obama administration looked at
the missile shield from a different angle compared to the Bush
administration, he said. A number of figures have emerged in the Obama
government, including in the Defense Department, who at one time sharply
criticized the large-scope missile defense system, conceived back in
Ronald Reagan's time, Kokoshin added.

"Generally speaking, the previous administrations did very well,
telling tall tales about this and spending enormous amounts of money.
The Obama administration has a more realistic approach to the structure
of the missile shield and the defense spending, which will apparently be
cut. The question is: To what extent? We know already that the program
for further purchases of the F-22 Raptor heavy bomber is in doubt,"
Kokoshin aid.

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