Saturday, February 27, 2010

Romania And US Start Talks On Missile Deployment

The more things change......  Well, you know the rest of it.  Nobel peace prize winner Barack Obama promises peace and pie in the sky.  On the foreign policy front, hardliners in the U.S. worried the 'liberal' Obama would sell out the U.S. to all its enemies.  As proof, they pointed warily at his 'reset' intentions with Russia.  But reality is often at odds with rhetoric.  In eastern Europe, the Obama administration continues to pursue an essentially expansionist policy not much different than the bumbling, footloose cowboy Bush Junior.  Despite the flowery rhetoric, however, the essentials of the two U.S. leaders are almost indistinguishable.  The latest proof?  Romania has announced talks are now underway with Washington on deploying some 20 interceptor rockets on that eastern European country's territory. 

Romania's Foreign Minister Teodor Basconschi made the announcement on February 26, in Sophie after talks with Nikolaj Mladenov the prime minister of Bulgaria, another eager aspirant to U.S. antimissile plans.

"Our negotiations with the United States should continue about a year and a half.  They cover the possible deployment of up to twenty interceptor missiles on the territory of Romania," said Basconschi.  

Mladenov then stepped up to his crystal ball and predicted Bulgaria and other central and eastern European nations would likely jump into similar talks with Washington in the coming months or years.

As the Informant has reported, both Romania and Bulgaria  -- along with earlier Poland and possibly the Czech Republic -- have eagerly spoken of Washington using their countries for U.S. revised anti-missile plans, ratcheting up tensions with Moscow and eliciting an odd offer to host Russian missiles from the sliver of forgotten land, Transdniester.  More here.  

Of course, this is not what Moscow had in mind when the sweet-talking Obama took office and vowed to ditch the hard-line stance of the Bushites.  

Regarding the latest Romania announcement, a Russian foreign policy spokesman, Andrej Nesterenko, said Moscow was frustrated that it was learning about Washington's latest anti-missile shield plans through the press and not directly from U.S. officials.

Russia's new military doctrine pegs U.S. missile shield plans and NATO expansion as "threats."

But Washington obviously could care less what the Russians think.  

Russia has said the holdup in signing a new nuclear strategic arms treaty with Washington was due to U.S. missile shield machinations.

Rick Rozoff plucked this spot-on analysis in his always impressive analysis.

A Russian military analyst, Alexander Pikayev, said of the above dynamic that “US/Russia relations were improving but these proposals really don’t help the situation. This situation is a time bomb. If these plans go ahead it could cause big problems in five to ten years time.” 

Another geopolitical analyst, Maxim Minaev of the Russian Center for Political Affairs, said of the new and continent-wide European missile shield system planned by the U.S. and NATO that “In its scope it envisages a much stronger structure than the one that was supposed to be in located in the Czech Republic and Poland,” [13] one which logically will include Georgia and Azerbaijan on Russia’s southern border.

Washington's response?  Nah, the Russians are wrong.  The Informant covered it here.

That Washington's plan to deploy missiles in Romania could destabilize Moldova.  Again, no, said Washington.  Instead, the missiles will bring stability said the Mandarins in the Beltway. 

Sky News connects some of the dots in this report.

In this Russia Today report, an Italian lawmaker makes the Informant's point, when it comes to foreign policy, there is not much difference between Bush and Obama.

A day before the Romanian diplomat spoke, far away on the Black Sea, a U.S. warship, The USS John L. Hall guided-missile frigate, docked near Poti, a port in the U.S. satrap of Georgia.  

As AFP reported there was not much to report, tight lipped were U.S. officials.

"The aim of the visit is to conduct joint exercises with the Georgian coast guard," said the embassy spokesman, who declined to be named. He said the ship would be in Georgian waters for "a few days" but declined to provide further details.

At least seven US warships have visited Georgian ports since its August 2008 war with Russia, including the USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the US Sixth Fleet, which visited a few weeks after the conflict.

Just a snap shot of the fresh efforts of the latest Nobel laureate.  
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