US, Russia Missile Shield Deal in Two Years

Washington, Mar 29 (IANS/RIA Novosti): US President Barack Obama hopes to reach a compromised agreement with Russia on the American missile defence system in Europe next year or in 2014, Josh Earnest, White House's deputy press secretary, said.

"There is some work to be done to reach an agreement with Russia… And the president is hopeful that in the next year or two we can start to demonstrate some tangible progress in finding common ground on this missile defence system," Earnest told a press briefing.

Earlier in the week, a live microphone captured President Obama telling Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more room to negotiate on missile defence after the November presidential election.

The unusually frank exchange between the two leaders took place Monday on the eve of a global nuclear safety summit in Seoul.

The slip-up was quickly jumped upon by Obama's Republican rivals, who accused him of secretive deal-making on US national security.

NATO and Russia agreed to cooperate on a European missile defence system at the NATO-Russia Council Summit in Lisbon in November 2010.

Russia believes that the development of the concept and architecture of European missile defence should be implemented on an equal basis and provide adequate confidence-building measures and transparency in terms of defence.

US officials have repeatedly said the missile defence system would not be directed against Russia and that the US, NATO and Russia would benefit from its strategic capacity and cooperation.


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Title: US, Russia Missile Shield Deal in Two Years

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