WHEN IN ROME….
Putin may oppose Americans defending America, but he likes Russians defending Europe. Visiting Rome two days after his summit with Clinton, Putin called on NATO and Europe to join Russia in building a “common, joint European antimissile system.” Since Europe is not a party to the bilateral ABM treaty, the possibility of conflict with that agreement does not arise. But Putin played up European fears that an effective U.S. defense of America against missile attack would be destabilizing. “We know that many here in Europe … are worried about whether the 1972 accord will be kept,” he said. “We share the point of departure of this discussion.” This is a line Putin can be expected to follow when he visits Spain and Germany later this month.