Obama Rebuffs State Proposal For Antimissile Deal With Russia

June 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz with the blog faculty

Source: Global Security Newswire

President Obama recently declined a proposal by the State Department for an antimissile agreement with Russia, the Washington Times reported on Thursday (see GSN, June 15).
The unfinalized agreement drafted by Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher was submitted to Obama for approval ahead of a late May meeting of leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized nations in France. Had the president given the go-ahead, it could have been signed by Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the summit.
The United States and NATO have sought to reach agreement with Russia for collaboration on shielding Europe from missile threats. The Obama administration, though, rejected the State Department proposal out of concern it would place curbs on U.S. antimissile efforts, a prospect that Republicans vehemently oppose and which the White House has pledged to avoid.
The concern in Washington focused on two sections of the agreement. One pledged the Defense Department against directing Europe-based missile interceptors toward Russia, a measure lawyers said the Kremlin could take as a legal promise. Moscow has demanded such an agreement in writing as part of any deal for antimissile cooperation with NATO. More…

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