Skip to comments.US-Russia tensions in spotlight at Munich security conference
Posted on 02/09/2007 9:38:56 PM PST by NormsRevenge
MUNICH (AFP) - President Vladimir Putin is expected to assert a Russian view of global security sharply at odds with that of the United States, when he speaks at a security conference.
Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the key speakers at the Munich Conference on Security Policy, an annual high-level gathering that examines current thinking on conflicts worldwide.
The conference, which began with a speech on Friday by Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and concludes on Sunday, will also see one of the first speeches abroad from new US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani is also due to attend, despite an earlier announcement that he was to pull out, organisers confirmed Friday.
Ahead of the conference, Russian media have talked of a new arms race between Russia and the United States reminiscent of the Cold War, arguing that Washington is increasingly wary of a newly assertive, oil-rich Moscow and wants to encircle Russia.
That could lead to sparks flying as Putin and Gates come face-to-face at a conference that has traditionally favoured lively exchanges due to its relative informality, predicted one Russian newspaper, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, on Friday.
Putin, who has tried to restore Russia's influence on the world stage in a presidency due to end next year, has vowed Russia will produce a "highly effective" response to US plans to base an anti-missile defence system in two former members of the Soviet-era Communist bloc, the Czech Republic and Poland.
That response would include development of guided ballistic missiles capable of evading interception, Russian officials have said, although Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said Friday that Moscow would not be drawn into a new arms race.
Moscow is also concerned about moves to further enlarge NATO into ex-Soviet territory, a tension likely to be highlighted when Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko addresses the conference.
NATO's future is the traditional theme of the conference, now in its 43rd year.
Yushchenko remains determined that his country on Russia's western edge should join the alliance, despite differences within Ukraine's government on the issue.
Russia's close relationship with Iran is also likely to enliven the discussion, especially as Moscow supports a proposal for a "time-out" in the crisis over the Iranian nuclear programme that has been proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
In her speech Friday, Livni warned against compromise on Iran and also said that the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas did not represent Palestinian interests.
"The world cannot afford a nuclear Iran. The international community must not show any kind of hesitation. Unfortunately the need for consensus leads to compromises," she said.
"There are some that are not willing to pay the price, maybe the economic price, for the right decisions," she added, hinting at Russia's close ties to Tehran.
The United States has shown disdain for the "time-out" proposal on Iran, which would involve Iran agreeing to suspend nuclear enrichment in exchange for holding off on sanctions while talks resume.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will give the first speech of Saturday's programme, focusing on "shared responsibility for global challenges".
Middle East peace is one of the priorities of Germany's current six-month presidency of the European Union.
The Munich conference will take place amid tight security, with 3,500 police guarding the luxury hotel where the event is being held.
Russian President Vladimir Putin Putin is expected to assert a Russian view of global security sharply at odds with that of the United States, when he speaks at a security conference. Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are the key speakers at the Munich Conference on Security Policy, an annual high-level gathering that examines current thinking on conflicts worldwide.(AFP/File/Dmitry Astakhov)
Oil is going to be the death of us all.
Yeah. Like saying it is okay to let Islamofacists like the mullahs in Iran develop nuclear weapons, even after they have said they wish to use them to remove another country from the face of the earth.
Can you say non-aggresion pact? I thought you could.
I wonder when the flag flying behind Putin won't be the Russian Tricolor, but the red Hammer and Sickle flag of the USSR? I bet it will happen really soon.
Do what I say or I cut off your natural gas supply.
Welcome to Free Republic. I pray that you are right. I want to see Russia be a natural ally against islamic expansion.
We read about "Great October Revolution of 1917" when the Jew comissars took supreme authority in the most great country on the Earth.
We read about struggle for authority when Stalin had won.
We read about Nikita Khrushchev who blamed Stalin and revived Trotsky's ideas and later, in consequence of this, USSR was taken to pieces by chieftains of communist regime.
Now, we can see penultimate act of "Russian tragedy" when former communists (include Yeltsin, Putin and more outstanding figures standing in shadow, which privatized most significant pieces of state's property but...
All their operations was traced (thanks to globalization in the banking area) and they all consider as "thiefs" and no more. Expanding NATO to the East, US-military budget I concider as preparing for de-communism of Russia. Communist and theis successors are most detested persons in the modern Russia. Nobody going to be at war for interest of former communists include Putin's mob. All billions dollars for pumping oil, gaz, wood etc. appropriated by privatizators had been stolen from Russian people which still living in poverty. Today's authority in Russia will be overthrowed not later 2012 and Putin and his mob feel it.
That's the reason why I feel that either Putin or his successor, in an attempt to retain control, will re-create the USSR with their puppets in the 'stans and Belarus (and possibly Ukraine too). Returning to Communism and blaming America would only serve as a distraction to the real situation of the Russian people, just like it did during the first Cold war.
I'm agree with your opinion but..
I would like express my opinion more exactly.
Former communists, Yeltsin, Putin and their mob are feeling (but they do not know exactly) that thay are doomed..
They did not take care about Russian states, army also about any state's organ(s) during privatization in 90's - they grabbed.
Now, they understood, that they have no legitimate rules in eyes of international community, they are social outcast, therefore they recollect about army, navy, stategic warheads and so on..
But their recollections are too tardy....