Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama will discuss missile defense issues on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Honolulu on November 11-13, a Russian presidential aide said onThursday.
“The presidents will consider in detail the issue of strategic cooperation, including the implementation of the new arms reduction treaty and missile defense,” aide Sergei Prikhodko said, adding that Russia wants talks on missile defense to be focused on legally-binding commitments that NATO's European shield will not be directed against Russia.
NATO has said it was ready to offer Moscow written assurances, but has refused so far to provide the legally-binding commitments demanded by Moscow.
Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile defense system at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.
NATO says it needs the shield, which will be eventually deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey, to counter the threat of missile attacks from "rogue states" such as Iran..