Russia’s Lavrov, Poland’s Fotyga Discuss Prospects of U.S. Missile Defense Site
MosNews.com – October 6, 2006
Russia’s foreign minister insisted that Poland’s decision about whether to host a U.S. missile defense site must be “transparent and understandable,” he said after a meeting with his Polish counterpart Thursday, The Associated Press reports.
Russian officials have warned that a missile defense site would undermine stability. However, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stopped short of other officials’ recent talk of possible measures in response.
“We discussed the U.S. missile site,” Lavrov said after meeting his Polish counterpart, Anna Fotyga. “It concerns strategic stability and ... we are interested in these processes being transparent and understandable to us. We will naturally take them into account while planning our own steps in the context of strategic stability and of Russia’s own security,” he added.
Polish authorities are still in talks with the U.S. administration on whether to host a site.
Russia’s military chief of staff, Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, suggested in a Polish newspaper last month that Moscow could reconsider arms reductions if a base were installed in Poland.
A missile site would undermine security and stability, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said Tuesday, warning of unspecified measures in response.
Lavrov and Poland’s Anna Fotyga also discussed plans to build a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea from Russian to Germany, bypassing Poland. Warsaw has expressed concern that its exclusion from the project could leave it vulnerable to any Russian decision to restrict supplies via existing pipelines.
“Our positions have not changed in the talks,” Lavrov said, stressing the pipeline project was not aimed against Poland.
Lavrov also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Polish counterpart Lech Kaczynski want to hold a meeting, but didn’t say where or when.
Poland’s former president Aleksander Kwasniewski was in Moscow in May 2005 and the visit has not been returned.
Moscow has been irritated with Poland for supporting the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine’s 2004 presidential elections.
Last updated 07/10/2006