The United States sees an opportunity for further cooperation with Russia on the missile shield, Daniel Fried, the US Assistant Secretary of Sate for European and Eurasian Affairs, said to the foreign press in Washington at the briefing on the NATO Bucharest summit and the Russia-US meeting in Sochi, ITAR-TASS reported.
According to the diplomat, he referred to both the Gabala radar station and the planned US anti-missile units in Poland and the Czech Republic.
Freed said that Washington accepted the offer made by Moscow last year at the Russia-US meeting in Kennebunkport to use Azerbaijan's Gabala radar station. However, he added that the United States wanted the offer to be part of the general architecture including the American units also to be deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic. Initially, Russia offered the use of the Gabala radar station instead of US's plans, not in addition to them.
Fried said that Moscow is still opposing the plans. "In Sochi Russia agreed to mention the possible softening of Russia's concerns regarding the Bucharest summit's summary declaration," he said and noted that the document reflects an interest in creating a missile defence system in which Russia, USA and Europe could be equal partners.
The Czech journalist reminded the American diplomat that the missile shield agreement reached by the executive power in Washington and Prague is still to be approved by the Czech parliament and its outlook is 'totally vague'.
The journalist asked whether U.S. has worked out an 'alternative' should this agreement be rejected by MPs and in his reply Freed said that 'he is more optimistic as the missile shield has the support of NATO now'. He assured the journalist that Washington will take into consideration the positions of Prague and Warsaw which resulted in 'a more NATO and more multisided policy in the missile shield'.
He also made similar assurances in his interview with a reporter from Poland. Stating the sovereign right of Warsaw to adopt any decision, Freed, the Secretary of State Assistant, the former ambassador to Poland, said he was hopeful that 'some concerns' of this country 'will be eliminated by the support of the missile shield by NATO'.
Commenting on the prospect of the permanent participation of Russian observers in U.S. missile shield projects in Poland and the Czech Republic, Freed said that it will be possible only with the consent of Warsaw and Prague. "It will be possible in the long run," he said. "I think it will happen," said American diplomat.