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US, Russia admit differences over missile shield


London : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his US counterpart Barack Obama Wednesday admitted that there were still differences between the two nations over the issue of US-proposed missile shield in Central Europe.

“While acknowledging that differences remain over the purposes of deployment of missile defence assets in Europe, we discussed new possibilities for mutual international cooperation in the field of missile defence,” the two leaders said in a joint statement after their meeting in London.

Washington has agreed with Warsaw and Prague on plans to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic by 2013. The US says the defences are needed to deter possible strikes from “rogue states” such as Iran.

Russia has consistently opposed the missile shield as a threat to its national security and Medvedev threatened last November to deploy Iskander-M missiles in the country’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad, which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania, if the shield was put into operation.

However, top Russian officials have repeatedly expressed their hope that President Barack Obama will not follow through with the missile defence plans of his predecessor, George W. Bush.