Sunday, January 21, 2007

U.S. can do it; but nobody else can ...

Anti-missile site
International The News / Jan 21

Russian politician warns Czechs

MOSCOW: A senior Russian politician warned the Czech Republic on Saturday of negative consequences if Prague agrees to a US request to site a controversial anti-missile system on Czech soil.

“This decision, if taken by the Czechs, will not be without consequences,” Andrei Kokoshin, the president of the parliamentary committee for the former Soviet states, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying. He warned Prague that the Russian parliament, or Duma, could “recommend, in return, measures which will not necessarily be symmetrical and which will allow us to ensure the strategic stability and national security of Russia” and its allies.

Such an anti-missile system could “threaten the interests of Russia and Belarus”, Kokoshin said. On Friday Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek announced the United States has asked Prague to start talks on “the possible sitting of an anti-ballistic missile defence system in our country. Concretely, this would be a radar station.”

The official US request came within minutes of Topolanek’s centre-right government being confirmed in power. The government which backs Czech participation in the US defence system. Washington wants to deploy 10 interceptor missiles and a radar in Europe to reinforce its defences against the perceived threat of a ballistic missile attack from North Korea or Iran.