Bush, Putin fail to agree on missile shield (Lead, changing dateline)April 6th, 2008 - 5:39 pm ICT by admin
Sochi(Russia), April 6 (RIA Novosti) US President George W. Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin failed to resolve their differences on missile defence at their final summit in the south Russian resort Sunday. Although the Russian leader called the talks generally positive, he said key differences remained on the issue of strategic arms.
Bush, who is leaving office in January, arrived in Moscow Saturday night for a farewell meeting with Putin, who is handing over power to his elected successor Dmitry Medvedev in May, to witness a roadmap US-Russian strategic agreement amid differences over a planned US missile defence system in Europe.
At a news conference after the talks in Sochi, Putin, said: “Our position on the US (missile defence shield) plan remains unchanged.”
Russia views the planned US missile base in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic as a direct threat to its security and has rejected Washington’s assurances that they were designed as protection against Iran and other Middle East states.
“As for strategic offensive armaments, some disagreements remain in our basic approaches,” the Russian leader said.
Bush also met president-elect Dmitry Medvedev, who is set to take office May 7 from Putin.
Medvedev told Bush maintaining good relations between the countries is a key factor for international security.
“After I am sworn in, I would like our relations to continue further without pauses,” Medvedev said.