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Anti-ballistic missile systems not discussed in conversation of Putin, Obama - Kremlin


July 16, 12:30 UTC+3

The two leaders discussed the Iranian issue and cooperation in resolving Iran's nuclear problem

MOSCOW, July 16. /TASS/. The deployment of the US ABM systems to Europe was not discussed during the telephone conversation between the Russian and US presidents, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters answering a question from a TASS correspondent.

'No, the ABM issue was not discussed,' the Kremlin spokesman said. He noted that the two leaders had discussed the Iranian issue and cooperation in resolving Iran's nuclear problem, 'but missile defense was not discussed specifically.'

'But the situation with the ABM systems is quite clear,' Peskov added. However, he rejected the allegations that this meant severing the dialogue on the topic. 'No, this is not the case,' Peskov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said that, in connection with reaching the deal on the Iranian nuclear program, Moscow would expect some response from Washington aimed at cancelling plans to create the European ABM segment. He recalled that the USPresident Barack Obama, speaking in Prague in 2009, noted that if the Iranian nuclear issue was resolved, the task of creating the European ABM segment would lose its validity.'

However, NATO said the alliance needed an anti-missile system despite the agreement reached with Iran.

Putin-Obama conversation 'constructive,' disputable issues remain

According to Peskov, the conversation between Putin and Obama was constructive but it was not meant to settle all the disputable points.

'The conversation was constructive,' Peskov stressed. 'Such conversations of course do not settle disputable moments and cannot do this. But nevertheless they are at least very useful from the viewpoint of showing readiness to solve disputable moments through dialogue what is certainly encouraging,' he said.

Speaking on whether such talks signal a 'thaw' in Russia-US relations, Peskov said 'the mere fact of a dialogue may be considered as rather positive.'

Russia-US dialogue on Syria continues

The press secretary said the Russian-US dialogue on Syria continues.

'The presidents always understand each other, and whether they agree or not - it's another matter,' he said, answering a question whether Putin and Obama understood each other during their Wednesday's telephone conversation.

Peskov replied in the negative to the question if the two leaders reached an agreement. 'To understand and to agree - are different notions,' the presidential press secretary said. Asked to specify, the Kremlin official said: 'The dialogue continues.'

The Russian president said previously that only the Syrian people have the right to demand Assad's resignation. According to Putin, Moscow's position in the support of Syria's incumbent president is based on the apprehension that otherwise the Syrian situation might repeat the Libyan or Iraq scenario. 'We believe it's a right position and one could hardly expect form us any other [than the support of the legitimate government],' Putin said on June 19 at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov also said that in Moscow's view, 'the current Syrian leadership is a real and viable force in the confrontation with the Islamic State.'


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