Obama hints missile shield flexibility to Moscow, has Poland et al nervous
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama has written to his Russian counterpart suggesting U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe might be unnecessary if Moscow helped in blocking Iran’s progress toward building long-range missiles, senior administration officials said on Tuesday.
Plans for deploying U.S. missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, ostensibly to guard against Iranian attacks on U.S. allies in Europe, are among a host of issues that soured U.S.-Russia relations during the former Bush administration. There have been indications Obama, who has vowed to shake up American foreign policy, might be willing to set aside the missile defense system.
“President Obama sent a letter to Medvedev that covered a broad range of issues, including missile defense and how it relates to the Iranian threat,” one senior administration official said on condition of anonymity to discuss private communications of the president.
“The suggestion is that need for missile defense deployment could become unnecessary if, working together with Russia, the Iran missile threat is addressed,” the official told The Associated Press.