DATE=6/8/2000 TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP TITLE=RUSSIA / U-S ANTI MISSILE SYSTEM NUMBER=6-11862 BYLINE=ANDREW GUTHRIE DATELINE=WASHINGTON EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS TELEPHONE=619-3335 CONTENT= INTRO: Later this year, President Clinton is to decide whether this country will proceed with a limited anti-missile defensive system. It is estimated the project would cost at least 60- billion dollars and there is considerable debate among scientists whether or not it will work. The newspapers are calling it the last great decision Mr. Clinton will make as president. The anti-missile defense system, or N-M-D as it's being called for Nuclear Missile Defense, was a key topic of discussion last weekend between President Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The world's press has been busy analyzing the results of that meeting, and we get a sampling now from ____________ in this week's World Opinion Roundup. TEXT: This system is a scaled-down version of a system the U-S press dubbed Star Wars when President Ronald Reagan first proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative [S-D-I] more than 15 years ago. However that system was never built. It was designed to shoot down a large number of incoming intercontinental ballistic missiles launched from a nuclear power such as the Soviet Union. This new system, if it is built, would be aimed at destroying a flight of only one or two nuclear missiles from what administration officials call "rogue states," such as North Korea, Iraq, Iran or possibly Libya. Nevertheless the Russians are against it, and so, according to U-S newspapers, are many European nations. Some European officials believe such an anti-missile system could lead to a new nuclear arms race. We begin our sampling in Russia, where several newspapers picked up on a suggestion by President Putin that perhaps a compromise system would be some sort of joint U-S - Russian anti-missile defense. A column in the newspaper Segodnya in Moscow was skeptical. VOICE: Vladimir Putin, visiting in Rome, pushed the idea of a joint A-B-M defense system with Europe after suggesting it to the United States when he met with [Mr.] Clinton ... It looks like a traveling salesman trying to palm off old merchandise. Given Russia's economic condition, the Putin initiative, clearly, is politics pure and simple. You can't expect Europe to consider it seriously. TEXT: Across town, in Vremya MN, there was this retort on page one. VOICE: Though the joint A-B-M idea has no chance, it seems perfectly justified as a political move. Initiatives like that have a "long-playing" effect, keeping (us) from getting into a new confrontation with the West. TEXT: And in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, another front-page analysis: VOICE: The chief problem, A-B-M, remains unresolved. ... [it] can overshadow anything good. That has not happened yet, but it may happen very soon, a sad situation the latest summit did little to change ... TEXT: To Western Europe now, and in London, The Guardian comments on the visit: VOICE: Vladimir Putin is poised to broaden his campaign to isolate the United States over its divisive missile shield scheme with a flurry of moves in the next week aimed at enlisting European public opinion in the battle against America's N-M-D project ... After clashing with President Clinton over the scheme ... Mr. Putin promptly went to Rome where he called for joint expansion of missile defense to cover all of Europe and Russia, as well as America. TEXT: However another view of the Kremlin meeting between the two presidents is presented by Britain's Financial Times. VOICE: No one had come to expect that the Moscow summit would produce Russian acceptance of the controversial U-S plan for N-M-D. And it did not. But amid good atmospherics, not even spoiled by their discussion of Chechnya, the U-S and Russian leaders appeared to narrow their differences, at least over the existence of a missile threat from several states around the world, if not over America's proposed shield against it. TEXT: In the French press, Le Monde of Paris noted in an editorial this week: VOICE: A polite [Mr.] Putin explained that he found U-S fears [of a missile threat] to be highly exaggerated, but that he was ready to take them into consideration. [President] Putin finds the remedy worse than the illness. Russia is not alone in thinking this. China and Europe see the shield as a dangerous break in today's nuclear architecture ... TEXT: To Germany, where the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes: VOICE: Moscow would not be Moscow if it did not try to take advantage of transatlantic disagreements. Washington is forced to respond now that [President] Putin has suggested a defense system for Europe similar to N-M-D. ... The European partners of the United States ... are mostly opposed to N-M-D anyway. ... Now Washington has to find an appropriate answer to the question of what Europe's role is supposed to be in all of this. TEXT: In Berlin, a editorial in Der Tagesspiegel was more up beat, noting: VOICE: One should not belittle the summit results. An agreement over N-M-D was not to be expected ...[And] the world appears a little too pampered by detente if it can think of the agreement to destroy 68 kilos of weapons-grade plutonium as a mere footnote -- not to mention the expansion of the early warning system. TEXT: In Italy, there was this comment in Corriere della Sera of Milan. VOICE: Our first surprise was [Mr. Putin's] reiterated proposal to create an anti-missile shield with NATO and Europe ... Is it realistic for Russia to build a common defense against its own allied countries? And, on the other end, it is realistic for Europe to build its own defense ... through a NATO Alliance that is two-thirds American and a shield that is two-thirds Russian? TEXT: Turning to Northern Europe, we read this response in Lithuania's Respublika from Vilnius. VOICE: Taking care of his image at home and abroad, [Mr. Putin] tries not to promise anything specific ... At first he declares that Russia might become a member of NATO. Now he suggests ... the creation of a joint anti- missile defense ... In short, if you want to play with me in one sandbox, share your toys ...[President] Putin has time to play political games until the new U-S president is elected. TEXT: To Asia now, and for the Chinese reaction, to Beijing and the People's Daily, where we read: VOICE: The deployment of the American N-M-D system will seriously damage the integrity and vitality of the A-B-M (treaty), threaten global strategic balance and stability, and impede the process of nuclear disarmament and non- proliferation. As a reflection of hegemonism and power politics, the N-M-D system goes against the will of the world's people. TEXT: While in Japan, the business-oriented Tokyo daily, Nihon Keizai, notes: VOICE: It is certain that the N-M-D dispute, if unresolved, will strain U-S-Russian relations more than the NATO expansion. TEXT: With that comment Tokyo, we conclude this sampling from the world press of reaction to the latest U-S Russian meeting on ballistic missile defense. NEB/ANG/JP 08-Jun-2000 17:25 PM EDT (08-Jun-2000 2125 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .