Friday, July 20, 2007

Well, There They Go Again

Although Old Europe wet its panties, New Europe is relatively unfazed by the recent bluff and bluster of Soviet Russian president Vladimir Paranoid.
Russia backs out of arms treaty

Russia’s decision to withdraw from a Cold War–era weapons treaty is directly tied to plans to host part of the U.S. missile-defense system in the Czech Republic, one analyst says.

“Russia feels threatened,” said V√≠t BeneŇ°, a researcher at Prague’s Institute of International Relations. “I think the link is quite clear. … Russia is trying probably to blackmail Europe.”

The 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) agreement restricts the arms member countries can amass and was a major factor in bringing the Cold War to a close.

On July 13, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree withdrawing Russia. According to a statement released through Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry July 14, the pullout resulted from “exceptional circumstances” and will take effect in 150 days.
Exceptional circumstances such as cancelling elections, Putie?
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Despite its role in Russia’s decision, the Czech Republic will not react on its own, said Defense Ministry spokesman Andrej C√≠rtek. “We will negotiate our reaction as a member of NATO,” he said. “There won’t be any individual reaction on the part of one member country.”

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Despite the symbolism of Russia’s decision, it is unlikely to threaten the Czech Republic and other NATO members, at least in the short term, BeneŇ° said. “It’s more about rhetoric than about a real security threat.”
Pssst, Putie! Those upstart Czechs are telling you to STFU -- again.

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