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Russia hopes Obama flexible on shield

Nov. 8, 2012 at 12:10 PM

MOSCOW, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Russia hopes U.S. President Obama will be more flexible on NATO's plans for a missile defense shield in Europe, the Russian prime minister's office said.

"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," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.

Rogozin said Russia would still insist the United States spell out in writing its assurances the missile shield will not be directed against Russia, something Washington so far has not done, RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

"As far as public statements that the U.S. missile shield is not against Russia, we do not believe in words alone," Rogozin, Russia's former NATO envoy, said during a Russian International Affairs Council conference on nuclear weapons and international security. "[Former Soviet leader] Mikhail Gorbachev believed in words, but we do not."

The United States said the missile shield is to protect against "rogue states" such as Iran and North Korea. However, Russia is concerned it could be used against its own nuclear deterrent.

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