NATO today backed a plan by President Bush to build a missile defense system in Eastern Europe, the New York Times reports, but would not go along with encouraging Ukraine and Georgia to pursue membership in the alliance. Both steps had been opposed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin, who is to visit the meeting in Romania tomorrow.
Bush says the missile system, to be based in Eastern Europe, is aimed at defending threats from the Middle East; Russia worries about having the system, and its powerful radar, on the doorstop. “We still do not have a proper explanation of this project,” a Putin adviser said. “It is … undermining mutual confidence and trust.”