NATO Secretary-General Jaap de
Hoop Scheffer responded cautiously on Friday to Russia' offer for the United
States to use a Russian-controlled radar in Azerbaijan for a missile defense
"I think it is a bit close to the rogue states we are discussing," Scheffer
told a conference here when commenting on Russia's proposal.
"But it's a bit too early in the day for my final judgment. It is always
useful when two presidents are constructively talking to each other on this,"
Earlier on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to U.S.
President George W. Bush at the G8 summit that the United States uses the Azeri
radar to replace its plan to station missile interceptors in Poland and a radar
in the Czech Republic.
Moscow suspects the shield is aimed at Russia, but Washington says it is to
stop missiles from "rogue" states.
However, in a speech to a forum in Brussels, the NATO chief branded
NATO-Russia relationship as one of two "challenges" the 26- member military bloc
"I am disappointed when I hear comments by President Putin and other senior
Russian officials which suggest a tendency to look at today's challenges through
the lens of the past," he said.
The NATO chief was clearly angered at Russia's warnings that Russian missiles
might once again be targeted at Europe, noting such move would be "unhelpful,
unwelcome and frankly anachronistic. "
"The NATO Allies and the U.S. have been very frank and open on third site
issues. Let's talk, let's engage," he added.
The issue of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty is another
barriers hindering the NATO-Russia ties.
Scheffer said NATO are committed to discussing them.
"NATO's basic approach is clear: this agreement has underpinned European
security for the past 15 years, and provides a degree of predictability and
transparency that is to everyone's benefit. Let 's do what is necessary to have
it ratified as soon as possible," he said.
Earlier in April, Russian President Vladimir Putin froze Moscow 's
commitments under CFE Treaty and said Russia could totally quit it altogether if
Russia-NATO council failed to find a solution suitable to