America’s missile row with Russia rumbles on despite the friendly exchanges between Presidents Putin and Bush at their summit this week. A Russian counter-proposal to America’s idea of stationing radar and missiles in the Czech republic and Poland is now being studied in Washington.
However Russian prime minister Sergei Ivanov has added a stick to his bosses’s carrot, appearing to suggest that if the Putin plan is rejected, Russia will station missiles in its westernmost territory of Kaliningrad;
“But, of course, the creation of an anti-missile complex in the Czech republic and Poland will nullify all our proposals and good intentions. One and another don’t go hand in hand”, he said.
Kaliningrad is sandwiched between EU and NATO members, and separated from Russia itself, with the only direct communication possible by air or sea.
In June President Putin warned George Bush that Russia would re-target European cities with nuclear weapons if Washington built the missile bases on its doorstep. America insists they are only designed to shoot down missiles from rogue states, and are not a threat to Russia.