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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Russia gives US cold shoulder over Iran

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 19:01:36 GMT | PressTV


Russian President, Dmitry Medvedev, says linking talks over the US missile shield in Europe with Iran's nuclear issue is not productive.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called unproductive any exchange talks with the United States over Tehran's nuclear program.


Medvedev said on Tuesday that it was 'not productive' to link talks on the US missile shield system in Europe with Iran's nuclear issue, AFP reported.


His comments came after AFP quoted unnamed White House officials as saying on Tuesday that the US President Barack Obama has sent a confidential letter to the Russian leader, calling on Moscow to join the US front to stop Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for Washington's backing off missile shield plan in Europe.


"If we are to speak about some sort of exchange, the question has not been presented in such a way, because it is not productive," Medvedev said at a joint press conference with the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Tuesday.

"Nobody is stipulating this with some sort of exchanges, all the more so relating to the Iran problem," Medvedev added.

President Obama on Tuesday rejected the reports, saying he offered no "quid pro quo" to Russia.

Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalia Timakova also told reporters in Madrid the letter the Russian President received from Obama did not contain any offers of a deal over Iran and Washington's missile program in Europe.


"Obama's letter contains various offers and evaluations of the current situation. But regarding any concrete offers or mutually obligatory initiatives, such things were not contained in the letter," she said.

Washington and Moscow are at loggerheads over the US plan which is to deploy 10 long-range missile interceptors in Poland and a radar site in the Czech Republic. The White House says the plan is aimed to counter what it calls 'threats' from countries such as Iran.

The Kremlin, meanwhile, believes that the plan threatens Russian security and rejects White House claims against Iran as baseless.

The US and its Western allies-Britain, France and Germany-- accuse Iran of developing a military nuclear program. Iran rejects the allegations as baseless.

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