Archive for the ‘Arms Control’ Category

Russians Say Medvedev, Obama to Meet “Soon After Jan 20 Inauguration”

December 18, 2008

The Russian news agency Novosti says that Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev will meet shortly after the new American president is inaugurated in January, 2009.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said,  according to the Russian News Agency, that President-elect Obama had agreed in a telephone conversation with Mr. Medvedev on November 8 to “arrange a top-level meeting soon after President Obama’s inauguration.” 

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev returns after inspecting a ... 
Russia President Dmitry Medvedev
Photo: AP

Lavrov made the comment after a meeting in Moscow with U.S. Senator Richard Lugar on Thursday.

A U.S. State Department source told Peace and Freedom this is additional pressure on Mr. Obama from the Russian government.

Earlier this week, John Rood, the State Department’s top arms control official, said the Russian government is likely to “test the mettle” of Barack Obama and his administration by taking a tougher stance against U.S. missile defenses.

Within hours of Barack Obama’s election, Medvedev said he would deploy Iskander nuclear-armed missiles to eastern Europe unless the U.S. backed off its deal on missile defense for Poland and the Czech Republic.  Medvedev later backed off that claim.

Russia's "Iskander" missile system on display ... 
Russia’s “Iskander” missile system on display at a military exhibition in the Siberian town of Nizhny Tagil in 2005. President Dmitry Medvedev has said Russia will place short-range missile systems on the EU’s eastern border to counter planned US missile defence installations in Eastern Europe.(AFP/VEDOMOSTI/File/Evgeny Stetsko)

Related:
Russia Will Test Obama on Arms Control, Missile Defense — Diplomat

China is also trying to be at the top of the Obama agenda:
 Obama, U.S. Need Not Kowtow To China

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MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with U.S. president-elect Barack Obama shortly after the latter is inaugurated in Washington on January 20, the Russian foreign minister said on Thursday.

Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting in Moscow with U.S. Senator Richard Lugar on Thursday that Medvedev and Obama had agreed in a telephone conversation on November 8 to “arrange a top-level meeting soon after President Obama’s inauguration.”

He also added that Moscow was ready to discuss issues on which the two sides had differences in a frank and open manner.

“Russia is prepared for that and we hope that the new administration in Washington will also be ready to discuss any issue on the basis of mutual respect,” Lavrov said.

Russia-U.S. relations have been frayed by Washington’s plans to deploy elements of a missile shield to Central Europe, Russia’s five-day war with Georgia over South Ossetia in August, and NATO’s eastward expansion.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently said he expected Russia’s relations with the United States to improve after Obama takes office in January. His words were echoed by Medvedev.

Obama said earlier this month that he wanted to “reset” relations between Washington and an “increasingly assertive” Moscow. “They’re increasingly assertive. And when it comes to Georgia and their threats against their neighboring countries, I think they have been acting in a way that is contrary to international norms,” Obama told NBC’s Meet the Press.

“We want to cooperate with them where we can, and there are a whole host of areas particularly around nonproliferation of weapons and terrorism where we can cooperate, but we also have to send a clear message that they have to act in ways that are not bullying their neighbors,” Obama went on.

 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,469404,00.html

Testing O's spine in Europe.
Mr. Medvedev.  Photo by AP

Russia Will Test Obama on Arms Control, Missile Defense — Diplomat

December 17, 2008

The Russian government is likely to “test the mettle” of Barack Obama and his administration by taking a tougher stance against U.S. missile defenses, a senior State Department official said Wednesday. John Rood, the department’s top arms control official, told reporters he believes the Russians are waiting to size up the Obama administration before Moscow advances its position on disputed arms issues.

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev returns after inspecting a ... 
Russia President Dmitry Medvedev
Photo: AP

In discussing the state of Russian opposition to U.S. missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, Rood said it appears that Moscow has “paused” in anticipation of a new national security approach in Washington.

“My assessment is that the Russians intend to test the mettle of the new administration and the new president,” he said. “The future will show how the new administration chooses to answer that challenge.”

Asked to elaborate, he said, “I think missile defense and other subjects will be among those that the Russians intend to determine what the new administration’s posture will be.” He said he reached this conclusion on the basis of an impression gained during talks in Moscow on Monday rather than from explicit Russian statements.

By ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writer

He also said the Russians have been less flexible lately in talks on missile defense. In particular he cited their stance on U.S. proposals to give the Russians more assurance that a missile interceptor site in Poland and a missile-tracking radar in the Czech Republic would pose no security threat to Russia.

The U.S., with the support of the Polish and Czech governments, has proposed that Russian officials be given regular access to the interceptor and radar sites and that they be allowed to monitor activity at both sites through undisclosed technical means. Rood did not elaborate on the details in dispute.

“I don’t want to spell out all the details because I think this is a high-priority dialogue for us in the United States, and I don’t think that putting all the details out will facilitate a resolution to it,” he said.

Rood led a U.S. government delegation in talks with senior Russian officials on a range of subjects, including efforts by both governments to negotiate a treaty to replace the 1991 START nuclear arms deal, which expires in December 2009. Rood said the talks were useful but did not achieve any breakthroughs.

Related:
 Foes warned off ‘testing’ Obama

Signals To Obama: Back Off

Foes ready to test Obama overseas

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081217/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_russia

Russia and U.S. committed to strategic arms deal

December 15, 2008

Russia and the United States failed to narrow their differences over Washington’s plans for a missile shield in Europe on Monday, but both said they were committed to replacing a Cold War pact on strategic arms.

After the talks, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told journalists he was looking forward to working with the new U.S. administration under President-elect Barack Obama and was confident a deal could be reached to replace the START-1 pact, which expires next year.

“The task is quite realistic, we have enough time,” he said. “I can’t help being optimistic about that.”

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during ... 
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov speaks during a news briefing in the main building of Foreign Ministry in Moscow, December 15, 2008. Ryabkov and U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Rood met behind closed doors to discuss a replacement to the START-1 pact which expires in December 2009.REUTERS/Denis Sinyakov (RUSSIA)

The START treaty, signed by Moscow and Washington in 1991, committed both to cutting their numbers of missiles and strategic bombers to 1,600 each. Both sides met limits set by the treaty by December 2001.

By Oleg Shchedrov and James Kilner

In a telephone interview with Reuters, the top U.S. official at the talks, Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Rood, agreed that the two wanted a replacement for START by the end of 2009.

“But there are substantial differences on our points to the final package,” he said.

Considerations on what should follow START have been marred by growing differences between Moscow and Washington on arms control, dominated by Washington’s plans for a missile shield in Europe.

Russia rejects U.S. reasoning that interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic are needed to avert potential missile strikes from Iran.

Moscow says the project is targeted against it and has threatened to place missiles in its western enclave of Kaliningrad.

Ryabkov said although talks had been positive, differences remained.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200812
15/pl_nm/us_russia_usa_missiles_4