Russia’s official news agency Itar-Tass yesterday cited "military sources" saying that Moscow needs to negotiate an extension of the lease to the Skrunda antimissile early warning radar in Latvia. The lease agreement expires on August 31, and the Russian military wants an extension for "another two to five years." Construction work at the Baranavichy/Baranovichi radar station in Belarus, meant to replace Skrunda for Russia, is said to be behind schedule because of inadequate funding. Russia’s strategic missile forces commander, Colonel-General Vladimir Yakovlev, is in Belarus at the moment to inspect the progress of construction at Baranavichy. Skrunda is the last remaining Russian military installation in the Baltic states. (Itar-Tass, February 12)
Duma Stalls Ratification of Russia-Ukraine Treaty.