Putin proposes Russian radar to USA

189.jpgRussia’s Putin has suggested a rogue proposal to United States of America to share a Russian-controlled radar as part of an anti-missile shield that would try to protect all of Europe.

 

This rogue idea was suggested by Putin in talks with Bush on Thursday. He said that US can use a Russian radar system in Azerbaijan instead of basing US anti-missile hardware in central Europe.

 

“The whole system which is being built… will cover not only part of Europe, but the entire Europe without an exception,” Putin told George Bush. “This would also… allow us not to redirect our rockets [to targets in Europe] and, on the contrary, allow us to create conditions for joint work.”

 

Washington says it wants to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland, and a radar in the Czech Republic as defence against projectiles launched by Iran. Iran has already dismissed such allegations commenting that US has mental fears.

 

The project has infuriated Moscow which says it will upset the global strategic balance and could be used to launch attack missiles or to spy on Russia. Washington has denied this.

 

In his comments to reporters, Bush did not directly mention Putin’s radar plan, which a White House aide said was new. “He made some interesting suggestions,” Bush said.

 

It was the two presidents’ first one-on-one meeting since Putin criticised the Bush administration at a conference in February, where he accused Washington of trying to force its will on the world and become its “single master”.

 

Stephen Hadley, White House national security adviser, told reporters Putin’s idea of using a Soviet-era radar system in Azerbaijan was “a bold proposal”.

 

US officials said they would study the offer and discuss it with the Russians. A Kremlin spokesman said that Putin’s suggestion would remove any need for a US radar in the Czech Republic or anywhere in Eastern Europe.

 

But it was unclear if Bush would consider the idea of dropping the Czech radar, a plan he had vehemently defended. A Russian news agency quoted Araz Azimov, the Azeri deputy foreign minister, as saying Azerbaijan was ready for formal talks on the joint use of the Qabala radar.

 

The Qabala radar, one of the biggest in the world, has operated in the north of Azerbaijan since 1985. It scans the entire Indian ocean, the Middle East and most of North Africa – and can detect missiles launched in those areas. It is still manned by the Russian military, who lease it from Azerbaijan.

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