Monday, March 31, 2008

Czechs Thumb Their Noses At Putie -- Again

Talks on U.S. radar completed

Czech and U.S. representatives have completed the talks on the planned U.S. radar base on Czech soil that were launched a year ago, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek (Civic Democrats, ODS) said in an interview for today's issue of the daily Hospodarske noviny (HN).

Topolánek said only the venue where the treaty would be signed must yet be agreed on.

"I have information that the major problems might have been solved in the main treaty. Nothing prevents us from potentially declaring at the NATO summit in Bucharest the possibility to sign it," Topolánek told HN.

He added that the last "three words" that were not clear during his February visit to Washington have already been agreed on.

The U.S. radar base is to be located at the Brdy military district, some 90 km southwest of Prague. The radar and a planned base for ten interceptor missiles in Poland are to be elements of the U.S. missile defence shield that is to protect the United States and a large part of Europe against missiles that states like Iran might launch.

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (for Greens) told public Czech Television (CT) on Sunday that agreement has not yet been reached on one article concerning the environment in the treaty.

The Czech and U.S. delegations should go to the April NATO summit in Bucharest with agreed conditions on the radar base re-location to the Czech Republic to be able to negotiate NATO's support for the missile defence shield, HN writes.

It says such support is primarily significant for the Czech government to persuade the radar opponents in the country where the left-wing opposition as well as some 70 percent of the public are against the project.

The junior ruling Greens condition their nodding to the radar exactly by NATO's support .

Topolánek said he is sure that NATO would support the project in the summit's final resolutions.

"The discussion is only about the verb - we expect, welcome. Everything else is concealed in the NATO analyses. No one doubts that this system is necessary," Topolanek told HN.

Schwarzenberg said on Sunday the bilateral treaties on the stationing of a U.S. missile defence base in the Czech Republic might be signed in early May.

Topolánek stressed in HN that the second bilateral treaty to create a legal framework for the stay of U.S. soldiers in the Czech Republic must yet be tuned up.
Heh. The diplomacy of Vladimir Paranoid appears to be failing.

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