Oh horror! Just 10 years ago before the Obama’s reset of relations with Russia … a short historical review.

Europe Uneasy Over Russian Plans to Deploy Missiles | DW – Nov. 2008 |

Plans by Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev to deploy missiles just a stone’s throw from EU borders has caused concern in western Europe. Politicians are urging Russia and the US to enter into a constructive dialog.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has criticized Russia’s plans to deploy missiles in Kaliningrad. He told German television it was “the wrong signal at the wrong time.”

Steinmeier called on Russia to enter into dialogue with the United States on the issue. He said he hoped Moscow would recognize the election of Barack Obama as an opportunity for a new beginning. At the same time, he warned of a new spiral of rearmament in Europe.

More below the fold …

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday, Nov. 5 announced plans to position short-range missiles in the western Russian territory of Kaliningrad, located on the EU’s eastern border between Lithuania and Poland. Medvedev justified the move as a reaction to US plans to set up a missile defense shield in Poland.

Russia is a required partner

“Russia is not an easy partner,” Steinmeier said. But without Russia, international crises such as Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East or Caucasus could not be solved, he said.

EU seeks united voice towards Russia

The European Commission urged member states to agree to resume EU-Russia partnership talks in its review of EU-Russia relations. Discussions between the two sides were suspended in September following the Russia-Georgia conflict.

However, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said the talks “are not a gift to Russia.”

“We have a deep and complex relationship where our mutual interests are deeply entwined,” Ferrero-Waldner told the EU Parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

The USGC Dallas, which recently delivered humanitarian aid to Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi, docked at the Crimean port, where Russia has a naval base, at the invitation of Kiev. The ship’s arrival was met by thousands of anti-NATO protesters chanting “Yankees go home!” and waving banners with the slogan “NATO Stop!” Police cordoned off the area around the ship.

President Saakashvili argues that refusing Georgia NATO MAP would undermine Medvedev | RFERL – Feb. 2008 |

In an interview published on March 31 in the “Financial Times,” Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili argued that a decision by NATO member states to “appease” Moscow by not offering Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at NATO’s April 2-4 Bucharest Summit would “serve the [interests] of the conservatives among the Russian leadership, instead of giving [Russian President-elect Dmitry] Medvedev a clean slate and starting a relationship from this new starting point.

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