| JRL Home | JRL Simple/Mobile | RSS | Newswire | Archives | JRL Newsletter | Support | About
Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson

NATO to Back Missile-Defense Shield, Seek Linkup With Russia

Missile LaunchedNov. 19 (Bloomberg) -- NATO was poised to start work on an anti-missile shield to guard against attacks by "rogue" states, seeking a linkup with Russia to build a broader defense umbrella.

Allied officials said the 10-year, 200 million-euro ($275 million) cost of the shield, a Bush administration proposal modified by President Barack Obama, makes it a bargain at a time of shrinking defense budgets.

"By reaching out and inviting Russia to cooperate with us, I believe we also have a real chance to build a security roof for the entire Euro-Atlantic area," North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said before a summit of alliance leaders in Lisbon today.

NATO is trying to turn the European anti-missile system, which provoked Russian hostility when George W. Bush first proposed it, into a fulcrum for cooperation with the Kremlin as part of the U.S.-driven "reset" of East-West relations.

Alliance spokesman James Appathurai told reporters he is "quite confident" that the alliance's 28 government chiefs will today endorse the project, which would build on a smaller- scale system being developed to protect troops in the field.

Bush's proposal foresaw permanent anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, two nations dominated by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Russia viewed the Bush plan as a threat to its strategic arsenal.

Link to Russia

Obama's plan does away with fixed bases, relying on mobile and sea-based radars and interceptors that the U.S. says would be easier to tie in with Russian systems.

In a commentary published in today's International Herald Tribune, Obama said the system will provide "a role for all allies, protection for all allies, and an opportunity for cooperation with Russia."

NATO leaders will try to persuade Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of the merits of the system when he joins them at the end of the summit tomorrow.

Russia is warming to the NATO initiative. Plans by the two sides to conduct a joint assessment of security threats are likely to pave the way to missile-defense collaboration, said Dmitry Rogozin, Russian ambassador to NATO.

"If we can reach the common ground then we can go further and discuss how to block these common threats," Rogozin said in a Nov. 15 phone interview from Brussels. "Then cooperation on an anti-missile defense system is possible."

Keyword Tags:

Russia, NATO - Russia, Nuclear Issues, Missile Defense - U.S.-Russian Relations - Russia News - Russia - Johnson's Russia List

Bookmark and Share - Back to the Top -        


Bookmark and Share

- Back to the Top -        

  Follow Johnson's Russia List on Twitter Tweet