Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Russia Warns Czechs Not to Participate in Missile Defense System

Russia has told the Czech Republic that allowing a radar installation on their property as part of the European missile defense shield would be a "big mistake." Now, one would expect rhetoric like this from Russia, if it's looking to restore the expansionist goals of the Soviet Union. One wouldn't expect rhetoric like this from a Russia who has given so many conflicting signals about participating in the missile shield and who wants to pretend it's a part of the civilized world.

Some quotes:

Russia’s military chief told the Czech Republic it would be making a “big mistake” to host a U.S. missile defense shield on its soil and urged Prague on Tuesday to delay a decision until a new U.S. president is elected.

I love the bit about waiting until a new US President is elected. That could go either way, of course, although it should give the Republican party a little bit to think about when it comes to Russian relationships, should they win the election.

The missile shield is the latest in a series of moves by Moscow’s former Warsaw Pact allies to embrace NATO, effectively moving the West’s military capabilities closer to Russia.

Baluyevsky said the Czech move was a political rather than a military decision.
“In my opinion it is a great disappointment that today’s discussion sees no change in the last four months by the Czech government. You have taken a decision to continue construction of a radar site on Czech territory,” he said.

“There are unfounded allegations that Russia is attempting to disrupt the peace and tranquility of Western Europe.”

I find "unfounded allegations" a little strong in this context. Russian's been doing plenty to "disrupt the peace and tranquility of Western Europe," and has plans for much more.

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