Russia Leaves Door Open for Iran Sanctions

Medvedev Praises Obama on Missile Defense

In a sign of improving relations with the US, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today praised President Obama for his decision to abandon a planned missile defense system along the Russian frontier in Eastern Europe.

In a move likely closely related to this one, President Medvedev then expressed a sudden openness to the “crippling” economic sanctions against Iran that the US has been pushing in recent days. Medvedev’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly said the nation opposed the sanctions in recent days.

That is not to say that Medvedev thought the sanctions would work. Indeed, he noted that they “rarely lead to productive results but in some cases are inevitable.”

The White House now says there is no difference between the US and Russian positions on the sanctions, which must inevitably raise the question: how did Russia make such a radical change in such a short time, and was this the oft-rumored “trade” of the missile shield for anti-Iran sanctions?

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of