Romania President Traian Băsescu: Prepare for a cool reception

from Russia to his plan to host elements of the new U.S. missile

shield in East Europe.



Kommersant, Russia

U.S. Reversal: Romania to Host Anti-Missile Shield


"U.S. President Barack Obama formally invited Romania to participate in the deployment of an American missile defense system.  … Romania will accommodate land-based intermediate-range interceptors, which will be combat ready by 2015."


-- Romania President Traian Basescu


By Nargis Asadov


Translated By Alexander Sviridovsky


February 4, 2010


Russia - Kommersant - Original Article (Russian)

A session of Romania's Supreme Council of National Defense took place on February 4. Afterwards, the country's president, Traian Băsescu, announced that he had received a formal proposal from U.S. President Barack Obama to participate in the deployment of an American missile defense system and that Romania had accepted. According to Băsescu, "The president of the United States, Barack Obama, formally invited Romania." He said the country "will accommodate land-based intermediate-range interceptors, which will be combat ready by 2015."


[Editor's Note: The plan was approved by the Supreme Council of National Defense and still needs parliamentary approval].


Let us recall that for several years, we've already discussed the configuration of the U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe. In June, 2007, the idea of deploying a missile defense system received the complete approval of NATO. The Alliance had decided to form a special commission to study how to adapt the U.S. anti-missile system to defend all of Europe, after a decision was made that basing its primary components in the Czech Republic and Poland would not have protected the territory of four NATO members: Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. These countries demanded that the Pan-European anti-missile shield cover them as well.


And despite protests from Moscow, Washington categorically asserted the certainty of its plans. The situation changed only with the rise to power of President Barack Obama. On September 17, 2009, he explained why he was rejecting plans by the previous Republican administration to place components of the U.S. shield in Europe - a radar station in the Czech Republic and ten interceptor missiles in Poland. He explained his refusal of the previous plan as a reassessment of the relevance of Iran's missile program and the cost of the project. But a string of European experts have said that the only real explanation was a desire on the part of the new U.S. president to mend ties with Moscow. In Warsaw and Prague, this news was received almost like a national tragedy.


To calm public concern in Eastern Europe, the U.S. dispatched Vice President Joe Biden in October of 2009. He suggested that Warsaw had a special role in the new system: the placement on Polish soil of a land-based version of the SM-3 missile interceptor, supposedly a key element of the new U.S. missile defense system. Biden also visited the Czech Republic and Romania.



The ship-based SM-3 missile, now being modified for land-based uses:

Will the Kremlin find this any more palatable than the previous system?



Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia: Ossified Kremlin Misreads Biden in Georgia, Ukraine  

Yezhednevniy, Russia: Shall Russians Praise or Curse 'Those Treacherous Yankees'?

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Poland Agrees to Accept Modified U.S. Missile Shield  

Dziennik, Poland: 'Live American Shields' Better than Bush Missile Defense  

Financial Times Deutschland: Missile Shield: 'Time for Confrontation is Over'

Der Spiegel, Germany: Biden Seeks to Smooth Feathers in 'New Europe'  

Gazeta, Russia: After the Shield: Time for Kremlin to Bring Itself to Reciprocate

Novosti, Russia: Iran Can't Be 'Swapped' for Halt to U.S. Missile Defense  

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russia: Medvedev 'Confesses' His Plans Differ from Putin's    

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Obama's Russia 'Gambit'

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: Obama's Lesson: Poland Can't Count on the United States

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Banish All 'Magical Thinking' Regarding the Russian Bear

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: Missile Shield Talks: How the Bush Team Lost Poland

Sydsvenskan, Sweden: Obama's Anti-Missile Gambit Pursued for the Greater Good

Le Monde, France: Obama's Missile Policy Change a Shrewd Gambit

Der Spiegel, Germany : 'Russian Euphoria' at Obama's Decision To Shelve Missile Shield

The Times, U.K.: 'Dismay in Europe' as Obama Ditches Missile Shield

Novosti, Russia: Russia's NATO Envoy Warns Against 'Childish Euphoria' Over Shield


Bookmark and Share


The column below is from September 28, 2009




For a week, experts have speculated about what the Americans demanded from Russia in exchange for renouncing the deployments in Poland and the Czech Republic. The answer is nothing, says Kommersant Vlast columnist Nargiz Asadova.


The U.S. administration's decision to renounce the deployment of the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic puzzled Russian leaders and journalists. As if out of habit, some members of the media rushed to find traces of a secret agreement between Moscow and Washington, sure that in return for their kind gesture, the Americans would have demanded payback from the Kremlin. For example, in the form of a cessation of arms shipments to Iran, Venezuela and Syria; or an agreement on harsher sanctions against Iran in the U.N. Security Council.


Meanwhile, jingoists, headed by First Deputy Chief of Staff to the Russian president, Vladislav Surkov, celebrated victory over our “Euro-Atlantic Comrades.” Last week, Mr. Surkov told activists of the Ours movement that the American refusal to deploy the radar station in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland was to their credit, saying, “You can win, I assure you. Therefore, play! Continue to act! There's no radar!” To further raise the patriotic spirit, the Russian Federation leadership stated that no concessions to Washington are planned.


In addition to this, no one ever heard from the president of the United States or members of his administration, that they met Russia half-way to obtain something in return. Or for that matter, that they met Russia half-way at all. “The Russian authorities don't determine our national defense strategy. We made the decision most suitable to us,” Barack Obama once emphasized. Those celebrating victory don't seem to remember that the current American President, while still the junior senator from Illinois, criticized younger Bush's idea to deploy anti-ballistic missile elements in Eastern Europe. At the time of the 2008 presidential campaign, Democratic Party candidate Obama said that missile interceptors in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic was too expensive and ineffective for defending the allies in NATO.


By the time when Obama took over at the White House, the U.S. budget deficit was approaching another historic record of $1 trillion, and the country was suffering through “the worst economic crisis in generations.” Is it any wonder that the U.S. president gave the order to re-examine the strengths and weaknesses of the Bush missile defense system, at the same time, see what alternatives exist? Now such an alternative has been found.


But in Russia, they still cannot believe that such an important decision by the U.S. administration isn't tied to Moscow. When I asked a friend of mine, a Russia expert with the influential U.S. think tank The Center for American Progress, what retaliatory steps the Obama Administration expects from Russia, he asked with undisguised irritation, “Why do you all believe that all we do is think about you?” He tried to convince me that a discussion about an exchange (we give you missile defense, you give us a tough resolution on Iran, or something else) never happened. Yes, and Barack Obama himself said publicly, “If Russia becomes less paranoid in its inclinations and decides to cooperate more effectively with us on the Iranian nuclear program, you know, this will be a bonus for us.” [translated quotes] In other words, from the American point of view, an active search for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear problem (particularly with the help of tough economic sanctions), or a cessation in shipments of heavy weapons to Iran, Syria and Venezuela, must be a conscious decision of Russia rather than a bargaining chip.   



Moreover, the new U.S. administration has proposed that Russia participate in the American missile defense network. “One of the qualitative changes in the architecture is that we can combine the capabilities of several varieties of radar system ... and several countries,” Robert Gates said, offering to include Russia's radar network south of Armavir in the American missile defense radar system.


Confronted with this approach, Russia's leadership couldn't help but be confused. How to live without the customary false bottoms, secret signals, diplomatic haggling, and the use of economic levers to achieve political results? How to deal without a confrontation over the eastward expansion of NATO that has become so dear to their hearts if the U.S. no longer insists on accepting Ukraine and Georgia  and isn't building in Poland and the Czech Republic? How to convince the public that Russia is always ready to repulse the “presumptuous Yankees.” They deploy missile defense in Europe, we deploy Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad? Their warships enter the Black Sea during war in August of 2008, and we threaten to open a military base on Cuba and conduct war games with Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea?


Assuming responsibility for ensuring that Iran doesn't develop a nuclear weapons and hand them over to terrorists or that Russian weapons don't fall into the hands of Hezbullah through Syria would be a troublesome task requiring enormous financing, time and human resources. And it wouldn’t be nearly as effective on TV. It's much easier to find a new stimulant. For example, take a look and see: the Americans have a new missile defense system.


blog comments powered by Disqus













































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US February 7, 1:39pm]


Bookmark and Share