Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

A Movement against the Deployment of US Missiles is Growing in the Czech Republic

Filed under: military,NATO,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Very soon, former Prime Minister Jiři Paroubek, the chairman of the Social-Democratic Party, intends to send to the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a message requesting her not to sign a treaty on the deployment of a US radar site in the Czech Republic. The decision is of major importance, since the Social-Democratic Party is a major opposition group to the government.

The intention to contact Mrs Rice was prompted by Mr Paroubek’s visit to two activists conducting a protest action, “No to military bases”. They have been on a hunger strike since 13 May. By the way, during the party’s conference, Social-Democrats decided to support the hunger strikers until the authorities reject their intention to take part in the US plans of deploying anti-missile defences in Europe. As is well-known, those plans also stipulate the deployment of 10 anti-missile silos in Poland. Greenpeace activists are also against the deployment of a US radar site in the Czech Republic. They have blocked for a month the military testing ground where it is expected to be installed.

In her TV address, Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova described the protestors as blackmailers and said that the government would conduct talks with MPs who should ratify the treaties with Washington. In fact, the Czech authorities are trying to take hostage the country’s population, for 75 percent are against the radar’s deployment. Among them are Communists and part of the Green Party, integral components of the government’s coalition. Meanwhile, the Czech government plans to sign all necessary documents for the deployment of US radar in June or July.

True, the future of the treaties will be decided by the country’s parliament all the same. A majority of the Czechs believe that a nation-wide referendum should be held on the issue. Be that as it may, the movement of protest against the US plans in the Czech Republic is growing. People understand that their country can become a testing ground for materialisation of US military-political ambitions. In addition, they see that Poland is in no rush to give consent for the deployment of 10 US anti-missiles silos. Clearly, the Czechs and the Poles should first of all bear in mind their own interests. Yet, many of them are aware that the appearance of US anti-missile defences in Europe can destabilise the situation on the continent and in the world as a whole. Russia is resolutely against the US plans. It sees them as a threat to its national security, and therefore, can take measures in response to preserve the strategic balance.

2 June 2008

Viktor Yenikeyev

Voice of Russia World Service



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