Thanks to Bush, our friend’s are shrinking and the enemies are growing every day. And now, we have Putin riding our behinds and warning Bush not to put missiles in
- MAFRA, Portugal (Reuters) – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin drew a parallel on Friday between U.S. plans for a missile shield in Europe and the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, widely regarded as the closest the world came to nuclear war.
But the Kremlin leader added that his personal friendship with U.S. President George W. Bush has helped to prevent the latest U.S. initiative from turning into a new global disaster.
“I would remind you how relations were developing in an analogous situation in the middle of the 1960s,” he told a news conference after the Russia-EU summit in the Portugal.
“Analogous actions by the Soviet Union when it deployed rockets on Cuba provoked the Cuban missile crisis,” Putin added. “For us, technologically, the situation is very similar. On our borders such threats to our country are being created.”
A decision by the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to send nuclear missiles to Communist ally Cuba put the world on the brink of nuclear war in 1962. After days of dramatic negotiations, Khrushchev agreed to pull out the missiles.
Russia has been outraged by the U.S. decision to deploy a radar in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland to avert potential missile strikes from countries like Iran. It sees the plan as an outright threat to its security.
In an attempt to stop the U.S. plan, Putin has promised to allow Washington use a radar it rents in Azerbaijan, built in the Soviet days to monitor the Indian Ocean zone, or a new radar with even wider range located in Southern Russia.
He has also proposed setting up a joint missile defense system, which would include European countries.
Washington has made clear it was ready to cooperate with Russia, but insisted that the Russian offer was an addition rather than a replacement for its missile shield plan.
“Unfortunately we haven’t received replies to our proposals,” Putin said.