Archive for the ‘Kaliningrad’ Category

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:

Russia: Nyet To Any U.S. Missile Defense Anywhere in Europe

December 9, 2008

Any European missile defense network that includes elements of a U.S. missile shield in Poland and the Czech republic would be aimed against Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

Moscow has fiercely opposed the planned U.S. deployment of 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic, saying they will pose a threat to its national security. Washington has said the bases are necessary in order to counter possible strikes from “rogue” states such as Iran.

From: RIA Novosti

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev addresses the Russian nation ...
Russian President Medvedev

“According to the final communique of the NATO foreign ministers [after a December 2-3 meeting in Brussels], any version of the NATO missile defense network in Europe will include the elements of the U.S. global missile defense placed in Poland and the Czech Republic,” spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in a commentary posted on the ministry’s web site.

“This statement allows us to conclude that the so-called ‘integrated’ European missile defense network will be aimed against Russia,” Nesterenko said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier threatened to deploy Iskander-M short-range missiles in the country’s Kaliningrad exclave, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, if the U.S. missile defense system was deployed in central Europe.

Russian Iskander

Read the rest: