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Interview with Vladimir Evseev

Vladimir Evseev, researcher of the Center for International Security of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, spoke to RT on opening of Russia-US working group  talks regarding the ABM defence system in Europe.

Russia Today: Both sides say their positions remain the same. Does it mean that there's no room for compromise, and the talks will end in failure?
Vladimir Evseev: In my opinion it is a very difficult job to continue in this field because the position between Russia and the U.S. differs. Russia believes it is enough to use the radar station in Gabala, Azerbaijan, and a new radar station in Armavir. Americans say it is necessary to use the ABM system in Poland and the radar in the Czech Republic. So these positions are very different. What to do, then? From the Russian point of view, using a data exchange center is a good idea: one centre in Moscow, another in Brussels. I think for Washington it is good to use Russian radars and a data exchange centre, but at the same time, Washington wants to create the ABM system in Poland and it is very difficult to stop these activities, so it is a very good basis for the U.S. Republican Party in the new elections. So it is very important for George Bush’s administration.

RT: If no agreement is reached by October, when the Russian and the American presidents are supposed to meet, what can we expect then?
V.E.: You know, today is the beginning of the first meeting of the working group, and in the nearest future there will be a second meeting. A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the American President George Bush is planned for October. I think it is very difficult to prepare a new agreement between Russia and the U.S. in this field, and at the same time it is a very good step. It is necessary to go step- by-step. So, if you want to continue the job, if you want to create a mutual ABM system in Europe, then Russia is to take part in these activities. It is very important for Russia to continue these activities by working with the U.S. So, this is a very good first step.

RT: You say it is pretty hard to create that agreement. So, how far will these circumstances go if the two countries actually fail to find common grounds?
V.E.: There are some difficulties in Russian-American relations. In the nearest future  the Presidential election campaigns in Russia and in the U.S.  will begin. So it is necessary to find a basis for continuing Russian-American relations. If you want to do something – it is necessary to continue. It is necessary to find a mutual basis. The ABM system in Europe is a very good basis for Russia, for Europe and for the U.S. If we want to create mutual security in Europe, it is a bad idea to deny a treaty in this field. Otherwise, we should create new ones. And it is vital to do this job together, as I see it.