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Press Release

7/3/2007 - President Putin Offers Cooperation But Does Not Address Fundamental Need for Missile Defense
Riki Ellison, President of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA) www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org, made the following remarks concerning the topic of missile defense, a key sticking point between President George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin during their recent summit in Kennebunkport, Maine. Mr. Ellison states:

“On his visit to Kennebunkport, Maine over the past two days, Russian President Vladimir Putin moved closer to the United States and Europe as he offered to expand his cooperation on Missile Defense to entertain a possible early warning and tracking radar system, as well as sharing information in a Russia-NATO council. President Putin’s remarks encouraged cooperation with a strategic partnership with the Europeans, the United States, and Russia for security against threats.”

And, by the way, one other issue that I didn’t mention in my opening my comments that I think you’ll find interesting is that President Putin proposed a regional approach to missile defense; that we ought to work together bilaterally, as well as work through the Russia-NATO Council. And I’m in strong agreement with that concept. -President George W. Bush July 2, 2007

Mr. Ellison continues: “We endorse this open and growing channel of communication on Missile Defense between Russia and the United States as it is promising for our future and for that of the world. However, President Putin neither addressed the issue, nor did he offer a solution concerning the fundamental need to defend Europe, the United States, and Russia from Iranian ballistic missiles. Mr. Putin’s offerings were specifically of sensors and the sharing of information that could track and give warning of Iranian missile launches directed towards Europe, Russia and the United States. The core issue of protecting Europe by having interceptor missiles and discriminating radars that would provide precise location and information to those missile defense interceptors was neither discussed nor brought up by President Putin. Without this fundamental capability, the protection of Europe, the United States, and Russia from Iran cannot exist.”

Furthermore, Mr. Ellison comments: “We stand with the Washington Post and President Bush on our necessity to deploy a missile defense system in Europe [specifically in Poland and in the Czech Republic] to defend our populations and homelands.”

Mr. Bush should make clear that the Kremlin’s blustering will not stop independence for Kosovo or a missile defense system approved by NATO. Russia should be invited to collaborate on missile defense, but it cannot be allowed to dictate where bases for it can and cannot be established. - Washington Post editorial July 1, 2007

Take missile defense. He just laid out a vision. I think it’s very sincere. I think it’s innovative. I think it’s strategic. But as I told Vladimir, I think that the Czech Republic and Poland need to be an integral part of the system. - President George W. Bush July 2, 2007.

Mr. Ellison concludes, “And, by the way, President Putin and Russia have come a long way in a few weeks in changing their position on Missile Defense; we hope that trend continues to move in the direction it is going so that they too can see the light that missile defense provides as a prominent leader and country of the world we live in.”

Riki Ellison is available to discuss the Bush-Putin summit and its impact on U.S. missile defense. He is available at 703 299-0061.

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