Missile defence deal with US possible, says Russia

March 19th, 2009 - 11:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Moscow, March 19 (RIA Novosti) There is scope for Russia and the US to reach an agreement on missile defence, the Russian foreign ministry said Thursday.
“In theory, we have every opportunity to agree on the missile defence issue,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.

He also said Russia welcomed the Czech Republic’s decision to put off a vote in parliament on the ratification of a deal to place a radar on its soil as part of a US missile shield.

“We believe this decision reflects prevailing public opinion in the country,” Nesterenko said.

The US has cited Iran’s controversial nuclear programme as one of the reasons behind its plans to deploy a missile base in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic. The missile shield has been strongly opposed by Russia, which views it as a threat to its national security.

The dispute has strained relations between the former Cold War rivals, already tense over a host of other differences.

The US and other Western nations suspect Tehran of secretly seeking nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear programme is purely aimed at generating electricity.

Top Russian officials have repeatedly expressed their hope that US President Barack Obama would not implement the missile defence plan of his predecessor George W. Bush.

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