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U.S., Russia may Compromise on Missile Shield in 2 Years

RIA Novosti

04:39 29/03/2012

WASHINGTON, March 29 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama hopes to reach a compromised agreement with Russia on the American missile defense 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 defense system,” Earnest told a daily 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 defense after the November presidential election.

The unusually frank exchange between the two leaders took place on 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 U.S. national security.

NATO and Russia agreed to cooperate on a European missile defense 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 defense should be implemented on an equal basis and provide adequate confidence-building measures and transparency in terms of defense.

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

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