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Opinion of Europeans Should Be Respected

28.09.2007 12:05

Vladimir Platonov

As expected, tripartite Russian-American-Azerbaijan consultation on the joint use of the Gabala Radar held in the capital of Azerbaijan on September 18 ended without any positive results. American experts were just familiarized with capabilities of the Radar, and the parties agreed in general to prepare recommendations for the October meeting of the Russian and US defense and foreign ministers.

The Russian party proposed to conduct an international monitoring of the threats from the southern direction, and based on the obtained data to agree upon a procedure of actions aimed at decrease of possible risks and threats in the European continent in particular due to the US refusal from the plans to deploy its ABM systems in Eastern Europe. The Russian party once again attracted attention of the world community to the fact that the possible joint use of the Gabala Radar by Russia and USA will not be directed against any third countries.

However, it seems that all peaceful efforts of Russia are vein because the Capitol Hill already made all decisions. Washington agreed that the proposals of Moscow ?are interesting?, but the refusal from deployment of the ABM systems in Eastern Europe is not on the agenda of the current American leadership even hypothetically. On the eve of the November mid-term election to the Congress the US Administration that failed almost in all directions of the foreign and domestic policies, needs at least one significant success. Against the background of negative news that come to the USA from Iraq and Afghanistan and other regions of the globe the successful deployment of the ABM systems in Europe "to protect the democracy" looks rather convincing for a common American. Yet nobody asked the opinion of Europe, but who cares in America?

Meanwhile, common Europeans are not very much happy with bright prospects enthusiastically edvertised by the White House. For example, a decision to deploy the American GBIs in Poland has been taken solely by the Polish government. According to recent public opinion surveys, the people of the Republic have an opposite point of view. According to Polish newspaper ?Nie? the majority of Poles are against the deployment of the ABM systems in Poland. The number of those who said "No" and "Not For" exceeds four times the number of those who supports brothers Kochinsky speaking in favor of the GBIs in Poland.

The similar situation is observed in Czechia. According to Czech President Vaclav Klaus two thirds of the Czech population are against the installation of the American Radar. In so doing, the people absolutely ?do not feel rather clear threat? from Iran and North Korea, meanwhile according to the USA the American shield is designed to defend Europe exactly against their missiles.

The pure American ABM solution is not supported by many respectful persons of the European political establishment. First of all, it relates to Germany that understands its responsibility for the future of Europe and tries to pursue more balanced and prudent policy.

For instance, Germany Chancellor Angele Merkel supporting the idea of the ABM shield in general expresses a keen interest in maximum involvement of Russia in this project. The Chancellor claimed that when selecting an ABM option we need to ensure maximum possible level of cooperation and put away the old confrontation approach.

Leaders of the largest political parties in Germany also urge to take into account interests of all concerned parties and first of all Europe in solution of this problem. Chairman of the German Social-Democratic Party Kurt Beck expressed his hope that the USA would be serious and careful in examining the proposal of the Russian President. Europe should not be split by the nuclear dispute. ?It is necessary to do everything possible to avoid new arms race?, the politician said.

Edmund Stoiber, Chairman of the Christian Social Union, a leading political party in Germany, said in his interview to Der Spiegel that a joint NATO-Russian shield seems to him more reliable than "the pure American solution". According to this politician, NATO and Russia may reach an agreement, for instance, if the ABM shield is deployed in the old NATO member-states.

Thus, in spite of the massive American political, economic and information pressure Europe actually is not eager to become a test range for ambiguous American experiments that may provoke occurrence of new hotbeds of tension in Europe. Russia is open for fruitful cooperation in the maintaining peace and stability in the region and ready to continue joint work in this direction with the American party. It?s the turn of Washington to proceed with an open and fair dialogue.