And, By the Way

July 3, 2007

On his visit to Kennebunkport, Maine, over the past two days Russian President Putin moved closer to the United States and Europe as he offered to expand his cooperation on Missile Defense to enhance a possible early warning and tracking radar, as well as sharing information in a Russia-NATO council. Putins remarks encouraged cooperation with a strategic partnership with the Europeans, the United States and Russia for security against threats.

And, by the way, one other issue that I didnt mention in my opening my comments that I think youll find interesting is that President Putin proposed a regional approach to missile defense; that we ought to work together bilaterally, as well as work through the Russia-NATO Council. And Im in strong agreement with that concept. ~President Bush July 2, 2007

We endorse this open and growing channel of communication on Missile Defense between Russia and the United States as it is promising for our future and that of the world. However, President Putin did not address or offer a solution to President Bush on the fundamental need and the technical capability to defend Europe, the United States and Russia from ballistic missiles from Iran. Mr. Putins offerings were specifically of sensors and the sharing of information that could track and give warning of missile launches from Iran directed towards Europe, Russia and the United States. The core issue of technically protecting Europe by having interceptor missiles and discriminating radars that would provide precise location and information to those missile defense interceptors was not discussed, nor brought up by the Russian President. Without this fundamental capability, the protection of Europe, the United States and Russia from Iran can not be done.

We stand with the Washington Post and our President on our necessity to deploy a missile defense system in Europe, specifically Poland and Czech Republic to defend our populations and homelands.

Mr. Bush should make clear that the Kremlins blustering will not stop independence for Kosovo or a missile defense system approved by NATO. Russia should be invited to collaborate on missile defense, but it cannot be allowed to dictate where bases for it can and cannot be established. ~Washington Post Editorial, July 1, 2007

Take missile defense. He just laid out a vision. I think its very sincere. I think its innovative. I think its strategic. But as I told Vladimir, I think that the Czech Republic and Poland need to be an integral part of the system. ~President Bush July 2, 2007

And, by the way, President Putin and Russia have come a long way in a few weeks in changing their position on Missile Defense. We hope that President Putin and Russia continue to move in this direction so that they too can see the light that missile defense provides as a prominent leader and country of the world we live in to help all of us be protected and safe.

Happy 4th of July.

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