Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Russia Confirms Iran Missile Contract; Kremlin Signals a Harder Line on Relations With the U.S.

Obama has already surrendered to Russia over an Eastern Europe missile defense shield.

He allowed Russia to outbid the U.S. over a strategic airbase in Kyrgyzstan that the U.S. military had been using to fight terror in Afghanistan.

Hillary Clinton's "reset" blunder added to Team "O"'s amateurish administration.

The Associated Press reports:

Russian news agencies cited a top defense official Wednesday as confirming that a contract to sell powerful air-defense missiles to Iran was signed two years ago, but saying no such weapons have yet been delivered.

Russian officials have consistently denied claims the country already has provided some of the S-300 missiles to Iran. They have not said whether a contract existed.

The state-run ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti news agencies and the independent Interfax quoted an unnamed top official in the Federal Military-Technical Cooperation Service as saying the contract was signed two years ago. Service spokesman Andrei Tarabrin told The Associated Press he could not immediately comment.

The news comes a day after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signaled a harder line in U.S.-Russian diplomacy.

MOSCOW -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev struck a Cold War tone on Tuesday, pledging to press ahead with an ambitious rearmament program in response to what he described as NATO's military expansion close to Russia's borders.

His hawkish comments come ahead of his first meeting with President Barack Obama early next month at the Group of 20 meeting, and were paired with even tougher rhetoric from Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. Mr. Serdyukov accused the U.S. of trying to push Russia out of its traditional sphere of influence -- the former Soviet Union -- in order to secure raw materials and energy supplies.

Analysts said the comments were designed to send a signal to Mr. Obama that the Kremlin wouldn't be an easy negotiating partner.

"It's more a message to America: Don't take us for granted," said Nikolai Zlobin, a senior fellow at the World Security Institute, a Washington think tank. "Medvedev is trying to create leverage and certain spaces that he can give up later, calling it a compromise."

The U.S. reaction was muted. Obama administration spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Tuesday that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization "is a collective defense organization. I think to suggest that it poses an offensive military threat is simply wrong."

Mr. Gibbs said Mr. Obama "looks forward to meeting with President Medvedev in London at the beginning of the G-20 economic summit" in April.

The Obama administration has said it hopes for a qualitative improvement, or "reset," in U.S.-Russia relations, which have been severely strained in recent years. On the agenda: a key nuclear-arms control treaty, Iran's nuclear program, NATO enlargement, and a possible U.S. missile-defense shield in Eastern Europe.

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1 comment:

  1. The Russians clearly see an opportunity for strategic and diplomatic gains- and are moving promptly to put him back on his heels, with new threats and maneuvers reminiscent of the Cold War.

    Obama was caught dozing while the Kremlin nabbed the Kyrgizstani airbase that was so vital for any potential Afghan "surge" plans. And the Russians announced major weapons programs on the day Obama was elected.... and threatened to point nuclear weapons at NATO-members Poland and the Czech Republic.

    North Korea, Iran, and Russia all think that his "open hand" to them is a sign of weakness... these types have no reason to take seriously a smiley plastic mannequin like Barack... they know he's not going to do anything.

    And the worst is yet to come- "Yes We Can" invade Ukraine... and what are you going to do about it Barack?