Tag Archives: US bases

Chancellor Merkel Meets With President Medvedev

Chancellor Merkel of Germany flew to the Russian black sea resort of Sochi to meet with Russian leader, Dimitry Medvedev. The purpose of her meeting was to reduce tension which had risen over the past few days as charges and threats flew back and forth from Russian and American diplomats. Merkel urged President Medvedev to respect the territorial integrity of Georgia, but he felt in light of the Georgian invasion neither South Ossetia nor Abkhazia wanted anything to do with being part of Georgia. Merkel argued for an international peace keeping presence in Georgia which was not opposed by the Russian leader. “We are not against international peace keepers,” he said, but emphasized South Ossetia and Abkhazia would not accept them and only wanted Russian soldiers to protect them.

Chancellor Merkel was able to get a slight backing down on the part of Russian leaders when she expressed concern over remarks made by General Anatly Nogovitsyin who hinted at an attack on any missile bases the US would build in Poland. Medvedev expressed his sadness at the American decision to construct missile bases in Poland but assured Chancellor Merkel, although that decision is “sad news for all who lie on this densely populated continent, but it is not dramatic.”

Czech Republic Protests Against Bush Plan Grows

The plan of President Bush to establish supposed anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic have not only antagonized Russia, but drawn strong opposition from within the Czech community. There weeks after launching an internationally publicized hunger strike in protest against the bases, Jan Tomas and Jan Bednar are now organizing a national movement to urge the Czech parliament to vote down the government’s proposal to allow missile bases on their territory. In an indication there was division within the government about the bases, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg met with the dissidents.

President Vaclav Klaus supports the proposed bases but even he admits there is strong opposition to the idea within parliament. Opposition is very strong in areas where the base will be built since many fear angering their Russian neighbors for no apparent justifiable reason.

Hopefully, a new president in January would make among his initial actions the decision to suspend construction of bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. That would send a message of conciliation to President Medvedev of Russia and hopefully open the door to greater cooperation between the nations of Russia and the United States.

Putin Steps Up Rhetoric Over Arms Race

President Vladmir Putin sharply attacked both NATO and the United States over their plans to establish military bases near the border of his nation. “It is already clear,” said the Russian leader, “sthat a new hase in the arms race is unfolding in the world. It is not our fault.” He is concerned over plans by the Bush administration to construct new missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic, which supposedly, are to head off missile attacks from some enemy. Bush initially said the enemies were Iran and North Korea, but, the United States has been working with North Korea and it is hardly unlikely they would send missiles toward Europe. In fact, the real question is why would Iran send missiles to Europe knowing full well the retaliation would wipe out their nation?

Putin is now talking about increasing Russian military expenditures and resuming flights of bombers to do patrolling, a practice that ended fifteen years ago when the Soviet Union collapsed. NATO leaders have urged Putin to tone down the rhetoric and inform them when there will be flights. Of course, NATO remains silent on insisting Bush cease his ill-advised plans to build missile bases on the border of Russia. George Bush, as usual, creates tension in the world with his confusing foreign policies that consistently believe some unknown enemy is going to attack.