Tags: U.S. | Offers | Buy | Russian | Anti-missile | Missiles

U.S. Offers to Buy Russian Anti-missile Missiles

Monday, 28 May 2001 12:00 AM

Officials told the newspaper that the proposals are likely to include an offer to buy Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles that could be integrated into a defensive shield over Russia and Europe.

The Times reported that U.S. officials believe Russia has already invested in anti-missile technology, and is interested in buying their advanced equipment.

The full plan is to be presented in conjunction with the first meeting between President Bush and President Vladimir Putin, on June 16 in Slovenia.

The Bush administration has not elaborated on its plans publicly. But in an interview last week, Condoleezza Rice, Bush's national security adviser, explained the broader context of the administration's objective: "We want to convince the Russians that it is in their best interest to move beyond the ABM treaty and to develop a new relationship with us."

Most details of the administration's proposals have not been presented to Moscow, though hints were floated in meetings earlier this month, the newspaper said.

One administration official said that there was "zero indication" of a response, but added that "we hope to have cooperative proposals - on missile defense, on nuclear reductions and on a broader relationship - by the middle of the summer."

Bush hopes to play to Mr. Putin's political needs by arguing that Russia and the United States are equally vulnerable to small rogue states and terrorists.

Among the threats that worry Russia are the proliferation of missiles and the threat of biological, chemical and eventually nuclear weapons along its southern border. But Russia itself has a vigorous conventional arms-export program to earn foreign currency.

A senior administration official conceded that before deep cooperation is possible, "we would have to have serious discussions with the Russians" about their behavior when it comes to proliferation, the Times reported.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Officials told the newspaper that the proposals are likely to include an offer to buy Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles that could be integrated into a defensive shield over Russia and Europe. The Times reported that U.S. officials believe Russia has already...
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2001-00-28
Monday, 28 May 2001 12:00 AM
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