Obama lays out steps for a nuclear free world
In Prague speech Sunday, the US president talked about Iran, North Korea, Russia, and how to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.
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"The United States needs to get relations with Russia back on track; it needs Russia's help on a range of issues," explains Lawrence Korb, a former Reagan defense official and now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank in Washington.Skip to next paragraph
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Why the US needs Russian help
Besides nuclear reduction, Mr. Korb says the US needs Russian help on Iran's nuclear program and on finding new supply routes into Afghanistan. "The missile shield is really a secondary issue," says Korb.
Czechs and others in Eastern Europe, however, are watching nervously as Washington warms to Moscow. The war with Georgia last summer and second gas spat with Ukraine last winter have upped fears of a resurgent Russian bear.
"A Russian general said Moscow didn't care if the system was located in Germany or France, but they object to it being put here because they still view the region as their sphere of influence," Prikryl added.
"That we need a special relationship with the United States to further ensure our security is nonsense," he said.
Opinion polls show most Czechs oppose the plan, fearing it could make them the target of a terrorist attack.
Speaking to Czech TV, Jan Zahradil, a member of the European Parliament from the Czech right-wing ODS party, said the radar transforms the country into an "important player" and a "strategic partner" with Washington.