BMD: Limited Progress at Moscow Meeting Prompts Putin Invitation to Bush

BMD: Limited Progress at Moscow Meeting Prompts Putin Invitation to Bush

In a March 26 interview at the White House with foreign journalists, U.S. President George W. Bush said he had accepted an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss bilateral issues at Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi on April 6. Remarking that "It's important that we have good relations with Russia," Bush characterized the summit as "a follow-up" to the March 17-18 meeting between senior U.S. and Russian national security officials in Moscow.

That "2+2" meeting -- which included Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the American side, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov of Russia -- made some progress in overcoming the serious disagreements that have arisen between Moscow and Washington in recent years. Nevertheless, the two sides remain divided over American plans to deploy ballistic missile defenses (BMD) in Poland and the Czech Republic. These systems are meant to supplement the two already operational U.S. national missile defense sites at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., and Fort Greeley, Alaska.

"The best way to address our concerns, of course, will be not to set up this third positioning site at all," Lavrov observed at their joint press conference. But he called the new confidence-building measures put forward by Rice and Gates "important and useful" steps in meeting Russian security concerns about the placement of the BMD systems so close to Russian territory. Lavrov added, however, that the Kremlin would wait to evaluate the formal written offers Washington would submit following the meeting before offering an official response.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review