Russia hopeful of U.S. agreement

March 20, 2009 at 2:02 AM

MOSCOW, March 20 (UPI) -- Russia and the United States have a good chance of negotiating an agreement on a missile defense shield, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

Andrei Nesterenko, a ministry spokesman, said Russia welcomes the Czech Republic's decision to postpone a vote on its part of the shield. The administration of former President George W. Bush wanted to deploy interceptor missiles in Poland and radar in the Czech Republic.

While President Barack Obama has made no final decision on the shield, he appears less enthusiastic about the plan. U.S. officials say the shield would be a defense against two potential nuclear powers, Iran and North Korea, but Russia has opposed the plan.

Also Thursday, Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian ambassador to NATO, said he is hopeful of a summit meeting between Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev.

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