News / Europe

Obama, Medvedev Discuss US Missile Defense

US President Barack Obama, right, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev share a word on their way to a lunch meeting at the Villa le Cercle during the G8 summit in Deauville, France, May 26, 2011.
US President Barack Obama, right, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev share a word on their way to a lunch meeting at the Villa le Cercle during the G8 summit in Deauville, France, May 26, 2011.

Multimedia

Kent Klein

U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev have agreed to continue working toward an agreement on U.S. missile defense plans, but it is clear that they have more issues to resolve.   The two leaders met Thursday at the Group of Eight summit in Deauville, France.

Despite what is described as a warm personal relationship, President Obama and President Medvedev still have some lingering mistrust over the issue of U.S. missile defense.

The two presidents met as soon as Obama arrived in the French resort town, and differences emerged almost immediately.


The United States plans to put missile interceptors in Eastern and Central Europe in stages through 2020 as part of a proposed missile defense shield for Europe.  Russia is concerned that the missile defense system could pose a risk to Russian strategic nuclear forces in the future.  

Obama's top Russia adviser, Mike McFaul, said the U.S. is not interested in rekindling the arms race.  

"We have no intention of doing that," said McFaul.  "We said that clearly.  In our view, the science also supports that.  We do not have that capability."

But Medvedev, speaking through an interpreter, said Russia and the U.S. may always disagree about some issues.

"It does not mean that we have common views and coinciding views on all the issues," said Medvedev.  "It is impossible, and I believe that it is not worth trying."

Medvedev said the missile defense issue would be solved by future politicians, but that he and Obama could lay the foundation now.

Meanwhile, Obama said he and his Russian counterpart did agree to continue talking about the issue.

"And we committed to working together so that we can find an approach and configuration that is consistent with the security needs of both countries that maintains the strategic balance, and deals with potential threats that we both share," Obama explained.

Another priority for Obama is to work with the other industrialized countries here to provide economic help for Egypt, Tunisia and any Middle Eastern countries that may embrace democracy.

The president also was expected to talk with the other leaders about the NATO miitary operation in Libya, intended to protect civilians from Moammar Gadhafi's troops.

Obama also met with Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan about aiding his country's efforts to recover and rebuild after the recent earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis.

Also at the G8, a White House spokesman congratulated the Serbian government on the arrest of longtime war crimes fugitive, former Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic.

President Obama concludes his six-day, four-nation tour of Europe in Poland on Saturday.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid