Medvedev reiterates interrelation between arms reduction talks, U.S. missile defense plan
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev reiterated the interrelation between the strategic arms reduction talks and the U.S. missile defense plan in an interview published on Sunday, Xinhua reported.
"We believe that these topics are interrelated and for understandable reasons," Medvedev said in the interview with the Italian media, which was published on the Kremlin website.
U.S. President Barack Obama is due to arrive in Moscow on Monday to meet Medvedev and outline benchmarks for further work on an agreement to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I) before it expires on Dec. 5.
Medvedev also reaffirmed Russia's objection to the deployment of anti-missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.
"We have repeatedly said, and I have mentioned this several times recently, that we are against the deployment of elements of an anti-missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic," he said.
Meanwhile, the Russian head of state noted the readiness of the Obama administration to discuss this topic, and he called for compromise to reach a new deal.
"It is enough to show restraint, to show an ability to compromise. And then we can agree on the basic foundations of a new START treaty, and agree at the same time on how we will approach missile defense," said Medvedev.
"We believe that it should not be unilateral nor, in essence, directed against one of the participants in this dialogue, a major nuclear country such as Russia," he added.
Also on Sunday the Interfax news agency cited an unnamed senior source from the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying that Russian and U.S. diplomats have not yet negotiated the framework strategic arms cut agreement that is supposed to be signed by Medvedev and Obama at the summit next week.
"I confirm that the document has not been finally negotiated," said the source.
Obama is scheduled to visit Moscow on July 6-8. It will be the U.S. president's first visit to Russia since he took office in January.