US radar in Czech to monitor Middle East missile attacks
Sanjay Jha | July 9, 2008 at 03:13 amby
254 views | 15 Recommendations | 2 comments
This agreement would help in tracking long distance missiles coming from Middle East to Europe.
The United States and leaders of the Czech Republic have agreed to place a radar system in the Czech Republic that would warn of long-range missiles coming to Europe from the Middle East.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, however, turned old Cold War rhetoric away from Moscow and toward Tehran as she signed the first solid treaty in what have been difficult negotiations.
“Iran looms as an ever-larger threat and the next US president is unlikely to walk away from the missile defence system the Bush administration is trying to establish in Eastern Europe,” Rice said.
“We face with the Iranians, and so do our allies and friends, a growing missile threat that is growing ever longer and ever deeper and where the Iranian appetite for nuclear technology to this point is still unchecked,” Rice said after signing the Czech agreement.
The proposed US missile defence system calls for a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptor missiles in Poland. Moscow has threatened to aim its own missiles at any eventual base in Poland or the Czech Republic.
Shortly after the treaty was signed, Russia's Foreign Ministry said Moscow would be forced to initiate a military response if the deal goes ahead.
If the agreement is ratified, “we will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods,” said the Foreign Ministry statement. It did not give specifics of what the response would entail. In February, then-President Vladimir Putin had said that if the plan advances, Russia could aim missiles toward prospective missile defence sites and deploy missiles in the Baltic Sea region, which borders Poland.
President George W Bush discussed U.S. missile-defense plans with the new Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, earlier this week during an economic conference of world leaders in northern Japan. Medvedev later told reporters that his hour-long chat with Bush yielded “no particular progress” on issues dividing the countries, particularly the missile shield.