Russian, U.S. presidents to discuss missile shield at NATO summit
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Sunday that he planned to discuss issues concerning European missile defense with U.S. President Barack Obama at a NATO summit in Lisbon on November 20, RIA Novosti reported.
"One of the most important international topics in the near future will be the NATO summit in Lisbon," Medvedev said after a closed-door meeting with Obama on the sidelines of the 2010 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Japan's Yokohama.
"A number of issues, including the European missile defense, are under discussion now," he said. "We will address this issue at the summit in Lisbon."
U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile shield in Eastern Europe remains a bone of contention between Moscow and NATO. The United States says it would defend NATO territories against a possible missile threat from Iran, but Russia says there is no threat.
NATO has recently suggested that Russia could be part of a joint missile defense project for Europe, but Russia said a serious assessment of missile risks should be carried out before starting on the project.
Some Russian and U.S. experts have expressed concern that missile defense controversy could ultimately hamper progress in U.S.-Russian relations and even block the ratification of a new bilateral strategic arms reduction treaty.