Russia is not a threat to peace - Bush

Russia is not a threat to peace - Bush

( AP )- President Bush said Wednesday the United States has not yet reached agreement with the Czech Republic to allow installation of a U.S . missile-defense radar there, but that the two sides are close.

A radar facility in the Czech Republic is part of a plan that also calls for placing 10 missile interceptors in Poland. The Bush administration says the program is necessary to allow the United States and Europe to deal with a potential threat from Iran or other potential foes.

Russia is fiercely opposed to the prospect of U.S. military installations plan.

There had been some expectation that Bush and Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek would sign an agreement on the issue during their White House meetings Wednesday. But Bush said after their talks that they merely had a good discussion and are now "down to three words" to complete an agreement.

Bush declined to reveal their remaining differences, but Topolanek said it is the Czech demand for the "strictest possible standards" to apply to any environmental matters related to the future U.S. military presence in his country.

"But that's just a technical matter, which is going to be resolved very soon," the Czech leader said.

White House press secretary Dana Perino would not say whether the U.S. opposes requiring the strictest environmental standards. "Obviously we are going to adhere to environmental standards wherever we go and whatever activities we are doing, both here in the United States and around the world," she said.

Bush said the negotiations are complicated, amounting to essentially devising a status of forces agreement with the Czech Republic to govern how U.S. personnel conduct themselves and under what terms. "These are all very legitimate questions that the prime minister is asking, and the same questions are being asked in Poland," he said.

"There is a will to get it done," Bush said. "These aren't easy agreements to put in place."

The leaders discussed Russia's opposition, and Bush said he was encouraged to hear Topolanek say that it is the Czech government, not Moscow, that will determine what happens on its soil. "He made it clear to me that the Czech Republic will be making decisions about who gets to come into their country."

Russia has threatened to target any future base in Poland with its missiles, which has caused deep anxiety in Warsaw since talks began a year ago. Though the Czechs have been generally receptive to the idea of installing missile-tracking radar southwest of Prague, Poland has been more reticent since a new government took office there in November.

Any deal Topolanek signed would have to be ratified by the Czech parliament.

" Russia is not a threat to peace," Bush said. "This is a system to deal with threats that will be evolving in the 21st century."

Also topping the Oval Office meeting agenda was an agreement reached Tuesday between the United States and the Czech Republic to move toward letting Czech citizens travel to the United States without visas, perhaps as early as September.

Bush said the new memorandum of understanding is not the final chapter, but that the Czech Republic is now "ahead of the line of anybody else when it comes to a visa waiver program."

"We still have more work to do," he said. "But I'm confident we can get it done."

"The negotiations have been really tough," Topolanek said, while describing the developments as "a true breakthrough moment" and "a great achievement" for his country's push to integrate with the West since the end of Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.

The United States passed a law last year aimed at expanding its visa-waiver program for citizens from some countries, but the program has caused frustration in Europe because some countries were left out.

The document outlines what the Czech government will have to do to conclude a deal, including stepping up information-sharing with biographic and biometric data on Czech visitors to the United States and ensuring the tracking of lost or stolen passports.

Topolanek said his country is aware of the "risks and dangers" from terrorism and promised Bush that he would guarantee higher security over travelers.

Azerbaijani marketing platform plans to become regional player
Azerbaijani marketing platform plans to become regional player
Increase in malware attacks makes cybersecurity more relevant than ever - Kaspersky Lab in Azerbaijan
Increase in malware attacks makes cybersecurity more relevant than ever - Kaspersky Lab in Azerbaijan
Number of electronic registrations of businesses in Azerbaijan growing
Number of electronic registrations of businesses in Azerbaijan growing
Loading Bars
UK records another 7,434 coronavirus cases, 290 deaths
It is necessary to end deployment of Armenian armed forces on territory of Azerbaijan - Foreign Ministry
WHO reports over 420,000 new daily cases of COVID-19
Istanbul’s major Galataport project to go live in April
0.03% of pupils and 0.1% of school staff in Georgia confirmed with Covid-19 this week
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on February 28
Uzbekistan's largest share in formation of GDP falls on Tashkent
Azerbaijan's revenues from tea, coffee exports double in Jan.2021
Cargo movements in Iran's Khalij-e-Fars port increase
China conditionally approves one-shot recombinant COVID-19 vaccine
Stock gains power Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to higher profit
More than 165,000 apply for Turkey’s most popular scholarship
Georgian Railway resumes passenger transfers
Kazakhstan reports value increase in all types of deposits
New road put into operation in Iran's Golestan Province
Azerbaijan sets up working subgroups to prepare 2021-2025 Development Strategy
Bahar Azadi gold coin price falling in Iran
Azerbaijan reports 172 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijan's Ministry of Finance to put up medium-term bonds for auction
Azerbaijan's banking sector ends January 2021 with profit
Foundation of several manufacturing enterprises laid in Iran's Qazvin Province
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for metal detector via tender
USAID to promote start-up dev’t in Turkmenistan
President Aliyev: Any attempt to violate implementation of November 10th declaration will be very harmful for Armenia (VIDEO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for February 27
Bosnian TV channel visits liberated Azerbaijani Aghdam, reminds of Khojaly genocide
Azerbaijani police officers find ordnances left by Armenians in Khojavand (PHOTO)
Long-term energy demand impact of COVID-19 is modest
President Aliyev to Iranian reporter: Your question is a kind of an accusation (VIDEO)
New Zealand's largest city Auckland back to lockdown after COVID-19 case
Iran pins hopes on Swiss financial channel to purchase COVID-19 vaccines
Foreign journalists visit village where two-year-old Azerbaijani girl was killed by Armenians
Volume of cargo loaded, unloaded in Iran’s Chabahar port revealed
Weekly review of Azerbaijan's oil and gas sector
Eni Turkmenistan Ltd opens tender for catering, housekeeping services
Kazakhstan boosts imports of Switzerland-made products
Uzbek ministry, German Society for International Cooperation sign agreement
Uzbekistan, China expand mutual trade despite COVID-19
Georgia reports 373 new cases of coronavirus on Feb.27
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
Baku Metro continues preparatory work for commissioning of new 'November' 8 station
Iran's exports to Russia increase
Uzbek-Korean JV to buy spare parts for pumps via tender
Kazakh airlines eye to launch several flights on Turkestan-Istanbul route
UNDP in Turkmenistan opens tender for services on seismic work
Volume of electricity generated by renewable energy power plants in Iran announced
Researcher talks monuments on ancient Azerbaijani lands vandalized by Armenians (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for Feb. 27
Azerbaijan's MoD shares footage from Gubadly's Afandilar village (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iranian currency rates for February 27
Remittances from Azerbaijan to Georgia show highest growth rate
Belarus considering possibility of supplying agricultural machinery to Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s Turkmenbashi Oil Refinery exceeds plan for kerosene production
Azerbaijani oil prices published
Kazakhstan's uranium mining company opens tender to acquire electro-technical materials
Issuance of construction permissions in Georgia down
Philippines extends partial coronavirus curbs in capital until end-March
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Kazakh gas supply company to attract equipment installation services via tender
Turkey's tourism industry puts hopes on safety measures for new season
Azerbaijani marketing platform plans to become regional player
Argentine health minister tests positive for COVID-19
Czech gov't declares new state of emergency over coronavirus
U.S. FDA advisors recommend approving Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
Increase in malware attacks makes cybersecurity more relevant than ever - Kaspersky Lab in Azerbaijan
South Korea vaccinates 18,000 to start ambitious COVID-19 campaign
US may announce new sanctions on Russia within weeks - White House press secretary
Founder of Indian Jet Airways eyes opening airline in Uzbekistan’s Namangan region
Saudi Arabia rejects U.S. intelligence report on Khashoggi's killing: statement
Israel registers 2,738 new COVID-19 cases, 769,971 in total
U.S. announces 'Khashoggi ban' for 76 Saudi individuals
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 427,000 in past day
Slovenia confirms first case of coronavirus variant identified in S. Africa
UN Security Council adopts resolution on vaccination
UK records another 8,523 coronavirus cases, 345 deaths
Kazakhstan shows interest in supplies of Belarusian sugar, its manufacturing technology
Turkey reports 9,205 new COVID-19 cases, 2,683,971 in total
Iran, Russia emphasize need to coop. in agricultural sector
When will Georgia receive its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine?
House poised to approve Biden's $1.9T coronavirus relief bill in Friday vote
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Azerbaijan discloses volume of liabilities of banks in Jan. 2021 accounting for deposits
Azerbaijan imposes restrictions on import of poultry meat from Estonian county
Amount of financial support of Kazakh manufacturing sector by Baiterek holding increases
Attracting FDI can help Georgia to boost exports of high-value food products - OECD
European Council extends mandate of special representative for South Caucasus
Kuwait reports 1,022 new COVID-19 cases, 189,046 in total
WHO says COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Africa has gathered steam
Armenia has always supported terrorism - MP
EU supports JCPOA commitments
Azerbaijan focused on rehabilitation, reconstruction of liberated lands - MP
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president talks country's success in int'l information field
Baku Stock Exchange to auction off Azerbaijani Central Bank's short-term notes
Azerbaijan records growth of GDP in non-oil sector over Jan. 2021
Azerbaijan discloses volume of fruits and vegetables exported since early 2021
Azerbaijan would like to bring new ideas, proposals to region with help of OSCE - MP
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan talk opening ground checkpoints
All Armenian prisoners of war have been returned to Armenia - Azerbaijani MP
President Aliyev makes phone call to President Erdogan
All news