Kremlin: Obama may budge on missiles

Nov. 8, 2012 at 10:19 AM

MOSCOW, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will be more flexible when considering regional missile defense plans during his second term, a Russian leader said.

Obama won a second term in office Tuesday.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the Kremlin was optimistic that Obama would offer more leeway on missile defense concerns in Europe during his second term.

"We hope that now, after his re-election, President Obama will be more flexible on taking into account the opinions of Russia and other countries on the configuration of NATO missile defense," he was quoted by Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

Obama was criticized in March for telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" on issues such as missile defense after the November elections.

The Kremlin said U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe would upset the strategic balance of power. Washington, however, says the system is needed to defend U.S. interests against rogue states such as North Korea and Iran.

Rogozin said during an October meeting with NATO leaders in Moscow that certain Kremlin reactions may be viewed as unfavorable. The Kremlin's response so far had been "mostly" non-military, he said, but "certain circumstances" may provoke a response that "I don't think you'll like," he said.

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