Medvedev: Russia, U.S. have opportunities to ease confrontation over missile defense

The incoming administration led by Barack Obama could bring opportunities to ease up the U.S.-Russian confrontation over the controversial missile defense plan in Europe, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said here on Saturday.

By: The People’s Daily, China

“We will not do anything until America does the first step”, said Medvdev, hinting a plan to deploy missiles in Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad bordering Poland, in a tough response to the planned deployment of a U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe’s Poland and the Czech Republic.

The Russian president, in Washington for the summit of the Group of 20on the financial markets and world economy, made the remarks Saturday evening at a forum hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent nonpartisan organization and think tank.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of ... 
French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) speaks with President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, before the Europe-Russia finance reform summit in Nice southern France. Sarkozy urged Russia and the United States to stop threatening each other with missiles and missile shields Friday and called for talks on Europe’s future security.(AFP/Valery Hache)

The United States and Russia have opportunities to ease up the confrontation through talks, said Medvedev, adding that he has received signals showing U.S. President-elect Barack Obama prefers holding talks with Moscow over the plan but not to simply approve it.

The president said there is “a lack of trust” between Moscow and Washington, but he hoped that the situation could be changed when the Obama administration takes office on Jan. 20, 2009.

Medvedev voiced hope for a meeting with Obama, saying “the main thing is that the meeting takes place and that it takes place quickly.”

The Bush administration is planning to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic as part of its European missile shield. The related treaty or agreement were signed separately this summer.

Washington has tried to convince Moscow that the U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe was aimed at protecting itself from so-called rogue countries, but not targeted at Russia, who strongly opposes the plan, saying it poses a threat to its security.

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One Response to “Medvedev: Russia, U.S. have opportunities to ease confrontation over missile defense”

  1. Terra Says:

    I hate to side with Putin on anything, but if I was in Germany I see the point of it being a threat to their security…

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