USA, Washington, July 4 / corr Trend N.Bogdanova /
Trend interview with William Cohen, who served as Secretary of defense from 1997 to 2001 under Bill Clinton's administration
Question: Do you believe in the simplification of the military intensity between US and Russia the upcoming first trip of president Obama to Moscow?
Answer: Yes, actually I believe that it will be a first step for US and Russia to forge a better relationship between each other, which would be significant not only for just these two countries, but for the regional and global peace and stability. There are lots of expectations about this meeting.
Q: By the way, during the recent years an issue of anti-missile systems between the two countries became actual, and former president Putin had offered to use the Azerbaijani Gabala RLS on joint basis for both US and Russia as a way out of problem...
A: I believe both our countries can solve this kind of problems on upon their own potential. Obama administration should take a pragmatic approach in resetting the relations with Russia, the main obstacle for a new and better US-Russia partnership is a deep distrust between them. If would be a mistake if the US offers to give up on previously proposed installation plans. Coming to the Azerbaijani Gabala Radio-location station, as far as I know the American military representatives are still looking forward to make a decision about this station. Azerbaijan is and will always be US's priority military partner. Our countries have a deep experience of cooperation in different spheres, and military is one of them.
Of course, I don't know the exact details about the negotiation. Coming to the anti-missile defense system issue, Russia needs to take a number of steps to show its support on the US position towards Iran (because US missile defense system plans are not against Russia, they are against the danger that comes from Iran), so after Russia's steps then Washington and Moscow can discuss how to restructure the missile defense system, so that Russia could participate in the US plan.
Q: After August 2008 war in Georgia Russia declared that the country is exiting the Treaty on conventional armed forces in Europe. Some regional countries, like Azerbaijan are afraid that the armed forces balance in the region can be broken. How do you see the way out of that situation?
A: I recently returned from my trip to Moscow. I felt that Russian administration is interested in solving the regional issues with peaceful instruments. This has always been a goal, which demands a lot of work to be done. For example, in Washington DC there is a big hope that United States and Russia can sign a new treaty on the basement of START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). So, all the countries involved have to be pragmatic in that kind of issues.Do you have feedback? Contact our journalist at: email@example.com