Subjects: Europe news
Last month the Big O sent a secret letter to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in which he offered to back off a new missile defense system in Eastern Europe if Russia stopped Iran from developing ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.
That’s the biggest trade since Wilt Chamberlain to the Lakers for Darrell Imhoff, Archie Clark and Jerry Chambers.
The Bear maintains commercial, diplomatic and military ties to Tehran so it can exert influence there.
And although Russia never seemes to care that Iran’s mullahs have nuclear ambitions, it vehemently objected when George W. Bush proposed deploying a US-built interceptor system to knock out Iranian missiles before they hit Western Europe.
Not a man of tact, Bush additionally proposed positioning the “defensive” missiles in Eastern European countries that were, along with Russia, part of the good old USS of R.
Setting aside the fact that these interceptor missile systems don’t work yet, Bush’s idea might have gone forward except that he rejected Moscow’s proposal to install part of the system on Russian territory and give the Russians access to the on-off switch.
“It’s almost saying to them, put up or shut up,” a senior administration official said of the Big O’s overture. “It’s not that the Russians get to say, ‘We’ll try and therefore you have to suspend.’ It says the threat has to go away.”
Kommersant, a Moscow-based, state-run newspaper called the Big O’s a “sensational proposal,” and a day later Medvedev himself said he believed the Big O was serious about cooperation on missile defense.
“We have already received such signals from our American colleagues,” he said on the Kremlin Web site. “I expect that these signals will turn into concrete proposals…
I hope to discuss this issue of great importance for Europe during my first meeting with President Barack Obama.”
That’s scheduled for April 2, in London. A properly-labeled reset button will be available.