Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said on Saturday that Moscow would move quickly to establish a "serious dialogue" with the incoming administration of U.S. president-elect George W. Bush on missile defence. It will be recalled that Russia has refused to re-write the accord, which has formed the cornerstone of nuclear disarmament accords for three decades, and warned the NMD would spark a new global arms race that would draw in China. We will remind to you that Bush vowed during his election campaign to push ahead with the $60 billion "Star Wars"-style national missile defence shield, even if that meant unilaterally violating the ABM treaty. Washington says it needs the system – which would shoot down incoming nuclear missiles – to protect America from possible attack by so-called "rogue states" like Iraq and North Korea. Both are developing missile and nuclear capabilities. Moscow says American fears are exaggerated and any concerns could be met by jointly developing a non-strategic missile defence system (which would leave ABM intact), lower nuclear arsenals and a diplomatic drive focused on states of concern. Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to scrap all disarmament accords with the United States if Washington deploys the NMD regardless of Moscow's security worries. In his comment piece, Russia's Ivanov also said Russia had spoken with an increasingly confident voice on the international stage since Putin's election in March. He cited the flurry of Putin's overseas trips, notably to Asia, leading European capitals and major international summits, adding that ratification of the START-2 arms reduction accord and nuclear test ban treaty had boosted Russia's disarmament credentials, Reuters reports.
Western countries actively support Ukraine in words, but they are able to provide less and less real help. This opinion was expressed by the former head of the military intelligence of the Czech Republic, Major General Andor Sandor, in an interview with the Parliamentní listy.