Russia says more missile talks only possible after U.S. presidential election

Russia says more missile talks only possible after U.S. presidential election
# 23 June 2012 00:17 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Further talks with Washington over the controversial missile defense issue are only possible after this November’s presidential election in the United States, the Kremlin said on Friday, APA reports.

"Perhaps it would be possible to resume authentic and detailed political discussions on the missile defense issue only upon the end of the U.S. presidential election," Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told a news briefing here.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who met with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama at the G20 summit in Mexico earlier this week, has said that Washington is continuing its development of the missile defense system.

"Still, our president said a drastic decision will change everything, if the United States accepts our offer to make everyone -- Russia, the U.S. and Europe -- equal participants in that process," Ushakov said.

Meanwhile, the official said that Moscow remains calm at a tough rhetoric of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who called Russia a "geopolitical opponent."

"This statement is odd but we perceive it absolutely calmly ... and understand that the election campaign is in progress, (and) the emotions are on the rise," he said.

Ushakov also expressed hope that if Romney becomes the next U.S. president, he would understand it is in the national interests of the United States to treat Russia in a balanced and pragmatic way.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S. missile defense facilities near Russian borders, and has called for legally- binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the missile shield is not targeting Russia.
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