A political commentator tells Press TV that Russia rightfully distrusts the United States over Washington and NATO’s new plans to build an anti-missile system around Western Europe.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Moscow remains concerned over the United States and NATO’s new plans to build an anti-missile system around Western Europe. "We are studying the proposals conveyed by the American side to us to further deepen the dialogue on missile defense cooperation. We are studying these proposals and the current developments and plans of the United States in this field," Lavrov told a news conference at NATO headquarters in Brussels. The Pentagon said last month it would station additional missile interceptors in Alaska in response to North Korean threats. At the same time, it promised to give up a new type of interceptor planned for Europe. The missile deployment had caused most concern to Moscow, which believes it could be used against Russian interest.
Press TV has conducted an interview with William Beeman, a professor at the University of Minnesota, to further talk over the issue. The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
We hear Washington is reconsidering its missile plan in Europe and shifting it to Alaska. Now, just how threatening are these military bases for Russia?
This is an old, old story. The United States tried to establish missiles in Eastern Europe, supposedly in the Czech Republic, I believe, in order to defend against the attacks, as they said, from Iran. Now we are talking about North Korea.
So the difficulty of course for Russia is that Russia wants to make sure that these missiles would not ever be deployed against Russia and I can tell you that Russia borders both on Iran and on North Korea.
So it is very hard for the United States to guarantee the Russians in any satisfactory way that these missiles would never be used against Russian territories and I can really understand the Russians’ trepidation about this.
But is there any guarantee that after establishing a military base in Alaska, it will not establish the same one in Europe?
No, there is no guarantee at all and the United States’ answer to Russia is ‘trust us; we are not going to attack you; we are only interested in Iran and North Korea’ and the Russians say, ‘well, you know we have had 50 years of difficulties with the United States when were the Soviet Union; I wonder you know how much we should trust you now,’ and I think that they are quite right to be distrustful.
What happens under this president might be changed if we had another president in the next election in 2016. And so I do not quite guarantee. What we absolutely need is a nonaggression treaty between the United States and Russia.
But I will tell you now that the United States Congress will never, never sign a nonaggression treaty with Russia.
Indeed and finally what impact do these military bases have on the host countries in terms of the costs and of course the society of those host countries?
Well, it really depends on how much you pay and the United States has in the past been willing to pay quite a lot of money in order to establish a military base on foreign soil.
Now I think for Eastern Europe which is doing rather well economically right now, the price will be extremely high. If you establish a military base in some places like for instance Kazakhstan or Kirgizstan, the price might be a little bit lower because the money or the economy of these countries is much less than in Europe.