Russia gets NATO ‘nyet’ on missile defense, but Georgia and Ukraine get green light for membership

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile being launched

From Robert Bridge, Russia Today:  NATO officials say they are willing to “cooperate” with Russia in the US missile defense system, while balking on the possibility of building a single system.

Unfortunately, NATO on Tuesday once again refrained from putting its money where its mouth is, offering Moscow cheap words, as opposed to priceless action when it comes to a genuine partnership in the construction of a European missile defense system, which the US says is needed to protect Europe from a ‘rogue’ missile strike. . . .

Moscow has said in the past that anything short of full cooperation in the developmental and operational stages of the system will be unacceptable. More than that, failure to come to terms could be the spark that ignites the next arms race.

"In the coming decade we face the following alternatives,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned. “Either we reach agreement on missile defense and create a full-fledged joint mechanism of cooperation, or … a new round of the arms race will begin.”

It is clear that this scenario would be very grave, Medvedev added. . . .

[NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General James] Appathurai said the formation of a single system – which apparently is not the same thing as "data exchanges and coordination" – is impossible since "NATO cannot entrust its security to third parties." 

NATO cannot go beyond these limits or cooperate with other partners, however strongly they may be trusted, he said, adding that the western military bloc has already made “serious concessions” to Russia.

Appathurai succeeded in raising eyebrows even further with his announcement that Georgia and Ukraine will become members of NATO if they decide to implement the reforms which are in line with NATO standards.

Exactly what those “standards” may be, especially given NATO’s track record of late, was not specified.  (photo: Misssile Defense Agency/RT)

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