Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hey Vlad! STFU!!!!

Putin issues sharp warning to US, vows to counter 'imperialism'
Thu May 31, 10:31 AM ET
President Vladimir Putin issued an acerbic warning Thursday to the United States, saying the recent test of a new Russian missile was a direct response to US actions and condemning "imperialism" in world affairs.
"Our American partners have quit the ABM Treaty," Putin told reporters after meeting his Greek counterpart, referring to the landmark 1972 US-Soviet treaty limiting the missile defenses of the Cold War superpower foes.
"We warned them then that we would come out with a response to maintain the strategic balance in the world. Yesterday we conducted a test of a new strategic ballistic missile with multiple warheads, and of a new cruise missile, and will continue to improve our resources."
The United States informed Russia in 2001 that it was exercising its option to withdraw unilaterally from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) pact. It has since stepped up controversial plans, fiercely opposed by Russia, to deploy a missile defence shield in eastern Europe.
Putin warned Wednesday that the US missile defense plan would turn Europe into a "powder keg" and he repeated on Thursday previous assertions that the planned deployments would ignite a new Cold War-style arms buildup.
"We are not the initiators of this new round of the arms race," Putin said.
The Russian president's comments came a week before he meets US President George W. Bush and other leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialised nations at a summit in Germany.
He is also scheduled to hold one-on-one talks with Bush in the United States at the beginning of July.
In a thinly disguised attack on US foreign policy in recent years, Putin warned there had been attempts by actors -- he did not name any country or bloc explicitly -- in international affairs to impose their will on others.
"In our view, it is nothing other than diktat, than imperialism," the Russian leader stated.
"Problems have arisen because the world changed and there was an attempt to make it unipolar. There was a desire among several international actors to dictate their will to each and everyone and to act not in accordance with the norms of international life and law," Putin said.
He added: "This is very dangerous and unhealthy. The norms of international law have been altered for political expediency. What is this political expediency and who defines it?"
Tensions between Russia and the United States have risen dramatically in the past year amid sharpening differences over the US missile plans, the state of democracy in Russia and concerns over energy supplies.
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice repeated on Wednesday the US assertion that the planned missile defense system in eastern Europe poses no threat to Russia and that Moscow's concern over it is "ludicrous."
Her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, countered at a meeting of G8 foreign ministers outside Berlin that "there is nothing ludicrous about this issue because the arms race is starting again."

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