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10 Mar, 2010 10:52

NATO commander hints at possible use of Russian radars in missile shield

The US may advance its partnership with Russia by using one of its radars as part of its anti-ballistic shield in Europe, says James Stravridis, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe.

Stavridis said this cooperation could be made possible because of Obama’s decision to recall the Bush-era plans to locate an anti-missile defense shield in Eastern Europe.

US-Russia negotiations over a replacement for the START 1 treaty have been delayed due to hurdles in reaching full agreement, with missile defense plans being a particular sticking point.

Russia, concerned over Romania’s decision to host part of US anti-missile defense system in February, has stated that Washington’s missile plans would have to figure in the new treaty.

The chances of Russia joining the new missile defense system are great from Russia’s point of view, but unfortunately on the Americans’ behalf there is not much chance the offer will be taken up, believes independent political analyst Vladimir Kozin.

“I’m figuring out this notion simply by looking at the new ballistic missile defense review, released and signed on February 1, 2010 by US Defense Secretary Robert Gates. On page 34, to my surprise, I have found a sentence telling that Russia’s ideas to offer radars with their fine data are nice, but American radars cannot be dependable upon Russian data,” Kozin said.

In the light of American missile defence ambitions in Europe, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently stated that a deal set to be signed by Russia and the US on a strategic arms reduction would cover these plans as well.

The signing of the deal however has been delayed even further after the White House said it didn’t see April’s non-proliferation summit in Washington as a deadline.

Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty was initially signed by the US and then-USSR in 1991 and expired December, 5. Both sides have been holding intensive negotiations on hammering out a new version of the deal but the final singing moment has been numerously delayed.