The News International, November 29, 2007
|BUDAPEST, Hungary: Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said on Wednesday that he viewed a US plan to deploy a missile defence shield in Central Europe as targeting Russia, not Iran.
“(On Tuesday) Milos Zeman, the former Czech prime minister, said, ‘What kind of Iran threat do you see? This is a system that is being created against Russia,’” Gorbachev said.
“I don’t think Zeman is alone in seeing this. We see this as well as he sees it.” The United States wants to place a radar station in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland, saying the components would defend European allies against a possible Iranian strike. Gorbachev, 76, whose policies of glasnost and perestroika openness and restructuring helped end communism in the Soviet Union and its satellites, criticised the high level of military spending by the United States. “Does America intend to fight the rest of the world, does America need to build a new empire? They will not succeed,” Gorbachev said at the close of a meeting of the World Political Forum, a group he founded in 2003 that includes many former high-ranking politicians.