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    Missile Defense

Russian military leaders have expressed concern about US plans for a national missile defense system. Will defense technology be limited by possibilities for a strategic imbalance? Is this just SDI all over again?

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lunarchick - 02:18pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1612 of 1623)

The further expected shuffles regarding the development of the Russian Economy will be of interest. Planning is important - but not the 'old' style.

lunarchick - 02:23pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1613 of 1623)

Germans feel that the USA MD plans will 'aggravate' their relationship with Russia. Bush doesn't understand. Russia is described, by annalyst, as a 'weakened', 'declining' country.
USA countries have tax breaks re exports.
Talks are about establishing the 'personal chemistry' Bush/Germany
(Annalyst Peter Wudolf Berlin -- Radio)

lunarchick - 02:31pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1614 of 1623)

The Economist (no link):

Mr Bush v the scientists The new administration has chosen to favour medicine over physics and engineering. That may prove to be unwise Mar 22nd 2001

lunarchick - 02:36pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1615 of 1623)

BackgroundInfo Putin:Moscow:Muddle:March15

lunarchick - 02:43pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1616 of 1623)

extract ""the handful of really reform-minded ministers has so far proved to be disorganised and ineffective, other bits of the Russian state are getting on with what they do best: looting and bullying. The overlap between government and business remains large and murky. The security services’ grip is strengthening. Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of Yabloko, a tiny liberal party, says the Kremlin is creating a “bureaucratic police state”.

The best news, in a way, is the resistance of vested interests to the proposed reforms: it at least shows that they are seen as some sort of threat. But to overcome that resistance will require a lot of presidential clout—which is not apparent.

So far, Mr Putin has listened hard, but wavered when it comes to decisions. Sometimes he favours his liberal advisers. The next minute he is closeted with the hard men in uniform, or is being swayed by the many denizens of the Kremlin left over from the Yeltsin era. He spends an extraordinary amount of time talking to foreign leaders: this year’s tally includes leading politicians or government officials from Azerbaijan, Austria, Belarus, Britain, Finland, Germany, Iran, Israel, Latvia, Moldova, NATO, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Ukraine and Vietnam. But at home, rather than get involved in the current kerfuffle, Mr Putin went on holiday, to a mountain resort in Siberia. Aides said he was working on an important speech.

lunarchick - 02:45pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1617 of 1623)

Let's assume the speech was the re-shuffle.

almarst-2001 - 03:06pm Mar 28, 2001 EST (#1618 of 1623)

rshowalter 3/28/01 12:07pm

"May I ask again why nuclear disarmament, combined with enhanced security for all nation states, should be impossible? "

The general Russan attitude toward the West and particularely the US has being severely damaged due, in my view, to the following factors:

- The Russians in general saw the dismanteling of the Warsaw Pact, the unufication of Germany and evacuation of its military from the Eastern Europe as acts of a great good-will and clear desire to be integrated as equal into a modern World and Europe, to open the new page in their history. They believed it will result in the great benefits to their society and standard of living. They did not want any more to be an Empire but an EQUAL and RESPECTABLE member of the new peaceful World's community. Where the military power is no longer needed and appreciated. Where no nation will try to dominate or dictate. An Equal among Equals.

- The unprecedented in a peace-time decline in Russia's economy and standard of living in a process of economic liberalization and privatization inspired and insisted on by the West.

- The open disregard to Russian views on policy in Iraq and particularely the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia against existing international norms and laws while trying to expand to the countries directly on the Russian borders.

Those factors destroyed the initial naive illusion of many Russians looking for an altruistic West for the help. They don't believe any more that it is in a West's interest to help Russia. And many believe in the opposite.

They come to understand that the POWER is still (if not the only) what counts and now see their nuclear arms as the only way to ensure their dignity and respect.

They also realised that all the nations, PARTICULARELLY DEMOCRATIC, must act STRICTLY for the BENEFIT of their VOTING POPULATION. There is no place for ALTRUISM. That realisation makes the NATO actions even more suspicious. The attempts by US to recrute the Southern and Central Asian Respublics, the insistence on an Caspian oil rutes outside Russia (even much more expensive) and support for Chechen separatists is viewed as hostal acts to future undermine and diminish the Russia.

I am not sure if there in Russia is any coherent vision on their place internationally, but I can guarantee they will not villingly accept the third-class citizenship in an US-dominated community. And it seems that precisely the role envisioned for them by US. Why? Because the Europe today much more needs the Russian energy supply and market then US/NATO protection. It seems the US may rather be interested in destabilising Russia. At least that position can't be discounted.

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