Russia has nothing to fear from a US missile shield in Eastern Europe, President Bush insisted in a speech in the Czech Republic today aimed at smoothing Vladimir Putin's ruffled feathers en route to the G8 summit. The Russian president threatened over the weekend to aim nuclear warheads at Europe in response to the US plan.
Bush emphasized that the shield—a radar system and missile interceptors in the Czech Republic and Poland—was designed to protect against rogue states like Iran. "The Cold War is over. It ended," said Bush. "The people of the Czech Republic don't have to choose between being a friend of the United States or a friend with Russia, you can be both."