Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



A New Summit In Helsinki Part Two

File image: Helsinki
by Nikita Petrov
Moscow (UPI) Nov 3, 2008
The "military summit" talks held in Helsinki, Finland, in October between the chiefs of staff of the Russian and U.S. armed forces had far-reaching implications.

Four-star Army Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, and four-star Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs, discussed the possibility of mutual consultation on elements of the U.S. National Missile Defense system in Europe, where a ballistic missile defense base for Ground-based Mid-course Interceptors -- GBIs -- is to be built in Poland with an advanced radar tracking facility to serve it in the neighboring Czech Republic.

The United States proposes holding another round of two-on-two talks involving Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Similar talks were conducted in the spring of 2008 and last fall aimed at removing Moscow's concerns about the GBIs and their tracking radars that are to be deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic.

However, neither the Kremlin nor the Russian General Staff sees the point in National Missile Defense talks prior to the U.S. presidential elections on Nov. 4 that will elect either Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., or Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to succeed incumbent President George W. Bush. It would be appropriate to discuss specific concerns and joint cooperation prospects after a new White House administration, including a new president, secretary of state and secretary of defense, takes over. Moscow considers such talks untimely at this stage.

Makarov and Mullen probably also discussed the forthcoming Russian-Venezuelan naval exercise in the Caribbean Sea. The Russian General Staff says the exercise, as well as Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack supersonic strategic-bomber flights to South America over the Atlantic Ocean, are not directed against the United States.

Quite possibly, a joint exercise involving elements of the U.S. 7th Fleet and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force near Russia's Far East is not directed against Russia.

Although Makarov and Mullen discussed many issues, final decisions will be made by their respective heads of state, for example, on resuming cooperation under the auspices of the Russia-NATO Council, the coordination body between the Russian Federation and the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

All the concerned parties, including the Russian Federation and the United States, should have common interests. This concerns the missile-defense system that the United States wants to deploy in Poland and the Czech Republic and the Caucasus conflict between Russia and the U.S.-supported former Soviet republic of Georgia.

It does not matter that the unscheduled Helsinki meeting between Makarov and Mullen was kept under wraps and that it took place in a neutral country. Nor does it matter who initiated the meeting. Most important, both the United States and the Russian Federation continue to negotiate despite their diametrically opposite assessments of global developments.

(Nikita Petrov is a Russian military commentator. This article is reprinted by permission of RIA Novosti. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.)

(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)

Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Russian navy to hold war games in Indian Ocean
Moscow (AFP) Nov 1, 2008
The Russian navy will hold war games in the Indian Ocean in a bid to boost its global presence, a navy spokesman said Saturday, announcing Moscow's latest move to flex its military muscle.







  • More design flaws found in Ares I rocket
  • Copenhagen Suborbitals Tests Hybrid Rocket
  • Successful First Test For Vega's Zefiro 9-A Solid-Fuel Rocket Motor
  • Brazil hopes to launch satellite rocket in 2011: report

  • Student Experiments On Board REXUS 4 Launched
  • Russia Starts Preparations To Launch US Telecoms Satellite
  • New ASTRA 1M Satellite Ready For Launch On 6 November
  • First Ariane 5 For 2009 Arrives At The Spaceport

  • STS-126 Focuses On ISS Crew Expansion Preparations
  • NASA: Endeavour to launch Nov. 14
  • Review Sets Nov 14 To Launch STS-126
  • Endeavour Crew Arrives For Practice Countdown

  • Two US astronauts to cast votes from space
  • Expedition 17 Set To Undock Today
  • Expedition 18 Takes Charge
  • Expedition 18 Crew Docks With Space Station

  • Neil Armstrong Gives Papers To Purdue Libraries
  • NASA, South Korea sign mutual statement
  • Do We Need Oil From Outer Space
  • Harris' OS/COMET Product Chosen For Constellation Launch Control Program

  • Souped-Up Rockets For Shenzhou
  • China Successfully Launches Research Satellites
  • China To Launch FY-4 Weather Satellite Around 2013
  • Shenzhou 7 Astronauts In Good Health

  • Cliffbot Goes Climbing
  • VIPeR Robot Demonstrates Exceptional Agility
  • iRobot Receives Order From TARDEC For iRobot Warrior 700
  • iRobot Awarded US Army Contract For Robotic Systems

  • Phoenix Goes Quiet
  • Phoenix Enters Safe Mode
  • Strange Martian Landforms Are Paleo Climate Clues
  • NASA Orbiter Reveals Details Of A Wetter Mars

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement