Czechs may allow Russian experts to check future U.S. radar - PM
( RIA Novosti ) - The Czech prime minister said Thursday that Prague may allow Russia to carry out checks of a U.S. radar site planned for construction in the Czech Republic as part of a proposed U.S. missile shield in Europe.
In an interview with Czech television, Mirek Topolanek said that Russian experts would not be allowed to maintain a permanent presence during the construction of the radar, or after the base becomes operational, but could be given specific dates set for inspections.
"Russian inspectors could have scheduled days to conduct periodic checks [of the radar]," Topolanek said
On Wednesday, Topolanek met with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is on a two-day visit to the Czech Republic to discuss preparations for deploying a missile defense radar in the country, in addition to a missile interceptor base in Poland.
Washington insists that a missile shield in Europe is needed to protect the U.S. and its NATO allies from potential missile attacks coming from Iran or North Korea, despite Russia's objections.
Gates said at the meeting that U.S. proposals aimed at easing Moscow's concerns over the European shield included allowing Russian experts to maintain a presence at the Czech and Polish missile sites to monitor their activities.