MOSCOW, September 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday that Russia valued U.S. President Barack Obama's decision to scrap plans for a missile shield in Central Europe.
Obama announced earlier Thursday that Washington was dropping its previous plans to deploy elements of a missile shield in the Czech Republic and Poland because the Iran threat is perceived in a different way.
The Bush administration sought to deploy a radar station in the Czech Republic and interceptor missiles in Poland as defense against potential strikes from Iran. Russia has consistently opposed the plans as a threat to its security and the strategic balance of forces in Europe.
Medvedev said that Russia "noted President Obama's announcement on the adjustment of the U.S.'s approach to the issue of missile defense."
"We value the responsible approach of the U.S. president to our agreement. I am ready to continue our dialogue," Medvedev said.
The Russian and U.S. leaders had discussed the issue during Obama's visit to Moscow in July and during their first meeting in London at the start of April.
"We also agreed and fixed in our joint statements that Russia and the U.S. will strive for joint work to assess missile proliferation risks in the world," Medvedev said. "Today's statement by Washington shows that good conditions have been established for such work. Of course, specific consultations of experts are to be held, and our country is ready for them."
Medvedev said that his meeting with Obama in New York scheduled for September 23 will be a good opportunity to exchange opinions on strategic stability issues, including missile defense.