Saturday, September 27, 2008

Russia refuses to allow NATO inspectors at its missile bases

MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not allow Czech and Polish inspectors at its missile bases but is ready for further talks on the presence of its observers at U.S. missile shield sites in central Europe, the Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.
Foreign media reported last week that both the Czech Republic and Poland oppose a permanent Russian presence at planned U.S. missile defense facilities on their territories claiming that the permission could be granted only on the basis of reciprocity.
"The U.S. missile bases are being deployed near our borders and they demand that we must open access to our strategic sites for U.S. allies - Poland and the Czech Republic. There is not even a trace of logic in such demands," the ministry said in a statement.
"All we can see in these demands is the unwillingness to hold a professional dialogue aimed at getting concrete results. It seems that neither Poland nor the Czech Republic is interested in the constructive dialogue at this point," the statement said.
However, the Foreign Ministry reiterated that Moscow will seek further talks on the U.S. missile shield in central Europe "whenever our partners are ready to sit at the negotiation table."
Russia fiercely opposes the U.S. plans to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a tracking radar in the Czech Republic as a threat to its national security. Moscow has warned it would be forced to target its missiles at Poland if the former Soviet-bloc state hosts the interceptor missiles.

Read also today's "Russian spy activity reaches fever pitch over U.S. radar base" (Link)


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