Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Russia demands explanation of Gates statement from U.S.
20:30 | 12/ 02/ 2007

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MOSCOW, February 12 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow has demanded Washington's explanation of the U.S. defense secretary's Wednesday statement on uncertain prospects of developments in Russia, North Korea, Iran and China, a Russian foreign ministry spokesman said Monday.

Robert Gates said Wednesday the United States needs forces to combat big armies and special units to counter terrorism as he is unaware what may develop in such countries as Russia, North Korea, Iran and China.

Mikhail Kamynin said Russia "is perplexed" by the recent statements by Gates and other high-ranking U.S. officials and intelligence officers.

He said such statements make "a certain system of negative assessments" of Russia.

"We proceed [from the assumption that] our relations are based on mutual interest in the consolidation of strategic partnership, above all in the joint fight against real and not imaginary threats to the global order, international terrorism, WMD proliferation and so on," he said.

Kamynin said he hopes Gates' statements do not reflect the real U.S. policy and are mere polemics as part of his attempt to pressure the U.S. Congress to approve the Pentagon's budget.

Commenting on the issue, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Friday, "In principle, as defense minister, I can understand this statement. All sorts of tricks are used to approve the budget."

"As far as predictability is concerned, I believe that Russia is as predictable as the U.S.," the minister added.

**(L-R) German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman attend the 43rd Conference on Security Policy in Munich, 10 February. Gates has dismissed a stinging broadside against the United States by Russian President Vladimir Putin, declaring: "One Cold War was quite enough."(AFP/DDP/Joerg Koch)

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