Thursday, Dec 18, 2008
Russia has hardened its stance toward US plans for a missile shield in an apparent bid to “test the mettle” of incoming President Barack Obama, US arms negotiator John Rood said Wednesday.
“My assessment is the Russians intend to test the mettle of the new administration and the new president,” said Rood, acting under secretary of state for arms control and international security.
“And the future will show how the new administration chooses to answer that challenge,” Rood told reporters after returning from talks Monday in Moscow on missile defense and other arms control issues.
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Obama has made no commitment to pursue the administration of President George W. Bush’s plans to build a missile shield in eastern Europe as it questions whether the technology is “workable.”
The plans by the Bush administration envisage establishing rocket interceptors in Poland and a linked radar in the Czech Republic.
The United States insists the facilities are needed to protect against “rogue states” like Iran, but Moscow has portrayed them as a threat to its security.