MOSCOW, March 2 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama has told Russia its help in resolving the Iranian nuclear crisis would make a European missile shield unnecessary, sources say.
The U.S. missile shield offer was made in a letter from Obama to his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian daily Kommersant reported Monday, citing unnamed White House sources.
Moscow has yet to respond to Obama's reported proposal, the newspaper said, adding that a decision probably would not be made during a Friday meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Geneva, Switzerland, RIA Novosti reported.
Russia has long opposed U.S. plans to place elements of a missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic as a threat to its national security, while the former Bush administration had championed the missile shield as a defense against "rogue states" such as Iran.
"We have received signals from our American colleagues," Medvedev told Spanish media Sunday. "I expect those signals will turn into specific proposals. I hope to discuss the issue, which is extremely important for Europe, with U.S. President Barack Obama."