It is necessary to further communicate with Russia about the
planned US radar base on Czech territory, Czech President Vaclav
Klaus and US Ambassador Richard Graber agreed at a meeting on
Graber said it is necessary to carry on the talks with
The US considers it important to explain to Moscow that the
radar in Czech and the interceptors in Poland are not aimed against
Russia, Graber said.
The planned system is to protect the US as well as Europe
against the threats coming from the Middle East, he added.
Klaus assured his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the
Czech Republic is not in the least interested in the base, a
planned part of the US missile shield, being aimed against Russia
during his official visit to Russia in late April. Klaus and Putin
emphasized that a further dialogue on the issue is necessary and
Putin invited Czech experts to Russia to hear Moscow's arguments
about the issue.
Also on Monday, US State Department Sean McCormack said
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Russia next week for
talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the US plan to
deploy missile defense system in East Europe.
"There are a lot of issues to talk about in the US-Russia
strategic relation, spanning from nuclear nonproliferation to
missile defense to the development of democracy in Russia,"
Rice is expected to make new efforts to persuade Moscow to
accept the missile defense system.
The United States has claimed the missile defense system is
aimed against states and groups in the Middle East that are seeking
weapons of mass destruction, not against Russia. Russia has
repeatedly criticized the US proposal, saying that it will harm
regional security situation and threatened to take counter
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Moscow last month to
try to persuade Russia to accept the missile defense system.
However, the visit failed to assuage Russian opposition to the US
The United States suggested earlier this year that a missile
shield be deployed in central Europe, including interceptor
missiles in Poland and a radar station in Czech Republic.
(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2007)