Obama Writes Russia– Ready to Scrap Europe Missile Plans
Days after the November election Russia threatened to deploy short-range missiles near Poland and the Czech Republic if the US did not scrap missile defense system agreements with the two allies:
Russia will deploy short-range missiles near Poland to counter U.S. military plans in Eastern Europe, President Dmitry Medvedev warned Wednesday, setting a combative tone that clashed with global goodwill over Barack Obama’s election –AP.
Today the Obama Administration scrapped the missile defense agreements with US allies Poland and the Czech Republic.
Ria Novosti reported:
Washington has told Moscow that Russian help in resolving Iran’s nuclear program would make its missile shield plans for Europe unnecessary, a Russian daily said on Monday, citing White House sources.
U.S. President Barack Obama made the proposal on Iran in a letter to his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, Kommersant said, referring to unidentified U.S. officials.
Iran’s controversial nuclear program was cited by the U.S. as one of the reasons behind its plans to deploy a missile base in Poland and 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 leaders have exchanged letters and had a telephone conversation since Obama was sworn into office in January, Kommersant said. The first high-level Russia-U.S. meeting will take place later this week, when Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meets with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva.