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Moscow hopes for constructive defense shield dialog with Obama

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Moscow hopes for a more constructive dialog with the administration of Barack Obama about the deployment of U.S. missile defense shield elements in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow hopes for a more constructive dialog with the administration of Barack Obama about the deployment of U.S. missile defense shield elements in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Democrat Obama, who is the first African American to be elected U.S. president, will assume office on January 20, 2009.

"Accords on strategic offensive arms and missile shield elements will surely be finally agreed with the new U.S. administration. We drew attention to the positions, which Barack Obama published on his website. They instill the hope that we'll be able to discuss these issues more constructively," Lavrov said.

Relations between Russia and the U.S. have plunged to a post-Cold War low in recent years over a host of differences, including the deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in Central Europe and a brief conflict in August between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia, a Georgian breakaway republic.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed its opposition to Washington's plans to place 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and an accompanying radar in the Czech Republic, saying they threaten Russia's national security.

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