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Question of the Day
The statement, while couched in diplomacy-speak, appears to reflect Russian and Chinese opposition to U.S. missile defenses that both governments have said threatens the offensive missiles of Russia and China.
During the visit, Mr. Xi was shown how U.S. and NATO missile defenses will impact Russian strategic missiles, according to Russian press reports.
White House National Security Adviser Thomas E. Donilon will visit Moscow April 15 for talks on missile defenses.
The Pentagon announced earlier this month that it is canceling a long-range missile defense interceptor that Moscow saw as a threat to Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles and opposed.
Russian officials have said the cancellation of the SM-3 IIB interceptor did not resolve their opposition to joint U.S.-NATO missile defenses in Europe. Moscow is demanding legal restrictions on U.S. defenses, something the Obama administration has opposed.
On Monday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu discussed missile defenses during a telephone talk.
The Donilon mission to Moscow prompted criticism from Rep. Mike D. Rogers, Alabama Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces.
“In view of the president’s latest concession to Russia on missile defense, it’s fitting that Mr. Donilon now heads to visit with Mr. Putin,” Mr. Rogers said in a statement. “Much like President Obama asked [former] President [Dmitry] Medvedev to ‘transmit’ his promise of ‘flexibility’ after his ‘last election,’ Mr. Donilon now goes to see what that flexibility has earned our president,” Mr. Rogers said.
“I predict nothing, just as I predicted in two letters before the March 15th announcement that Obama would make this unilateral concession to Russia,” he said. “The president could at least have the courtesy to share with Congress the same proposals his national security adviser is sharing with Putin.”
A White House spokesman had no comment on Mr. Donilon’s visit.
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About the Author
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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