- Nov 22, 2003
- Reaction score
I may be overreacting, but do NOT trust the administration on this. Wish we had someone like Bolton at State:
Will the US pull a Chamberlain and sell out the East to Putin's apparent Grand Scenario of reviving the USSR?Putin spells out security worries in Bush phone call
by Nick Coleman 44 minutes ago
President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday spelt out Russia's concerns to US President George W. Bush over US plans for a missile defence shield in Europe and any imposed solution of Kosovo's future.
In what the Kremlin described as a "thorough and open" phone conversation initiated by the White House, the two men discussed their differences over the missile defence plans and the fate of the Serbian province.
They also covered the Iranian nuclear standoff, and in particular a recent UN resolution aimed at increasing pressure on Tehran.
Putin "set out the reasons for Russian concern about the US plans to create a base for an anti-missile system in Central Europe," the Kremlin said in a statement.
The statement said Putin had "noted with satisfaction" what it described as Bush's assurance that he was ready to discuss the issue in detail with the Russian side.
The dispute over the missile plan has come to encapsulate growing differences between Moscow and Washington on a range of security issues.
Russia has strongly objected to the US plans to place components of the shield in the Czech Republic and Poland as well as in one of the South Caucasus nations, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
All the proposed host countries were part of Moscow's sphere of influence in Soviet times.
The Czech Republic and Poland, now NATO members, have insisted on their right to make their own defence arrangements and Prague said Wednesday it would begin formal negotiations with Washington.
Washington says the missile defence system, which would include a radar system in the Czech Republic and interceptor rockets in Poland, is not directed against Russia and is needed to protect against "rogue states" such as Iran.
Putin also reiterated long-standing Russian objections to a UN-mediated plan for supervised independence for Kosovo, which has been under UN supervision since NATO's bombing of the then Yugoslavia in 1999.
"The Russian side confirmed its principled position against imposing on the sides any kinds of scenario -- so that a solution is worked out that would be acceptable both to Belgrade and Pristina," the statement said.
Russia, a veto-wielding member of the United Nations Security Council and, has repeatedly objected to the independence plan put forward by UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari.
Moscow has insisted that any solution must be agreeable to Serbia as well as Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority, reflecting Russia's close ties with Serbia.
Russia strongly objected to the NATO bombing in 1999 to stop a Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian guerrillas in Kosovo.
Belgrade has rejected independence for Kosovo, calling instead for more negotiations.
Ahtisaari's plan is to be debated next month by the Security Council, which must approve Kosovo's future status.
On Iran, the Kremlin described the recent UN resolution on Iran's nuclear programme as a "strong signal" that it should cooperate with the international community and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The statement noted that the resolution "unambiguously excludes the use of force" and stressed the need for a negotiated solution.
The conversation comes after Putin made clear the depth of Russia's differences with Washington in a speech last month in Munich that amounted to a full-frontal attack on US foreign policy.
In the speech Putin said Washington had "over-stepped its borders in all spheres."