The reports yesterday that the Obama Administration has offered to abandon the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe in return for Russian help in diplomatic measures against the Iranian government were publicly responded to by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today.
Medvedev considered the letter from President Obama a “positive signal,” but said that he would not consider “haggling” over the planned missile base in Poland nor did he feel linking the plan’s abandonment with the Iranian issue was productive.
President Obama, meanwhile, said reports in the media “didn’t accurately characterize the letter.” He says he simply reiterated what he has said publicly (and what the previous administration said publicly for that matter): that the missile base near Russia was not directed at Russia, but was rather a defensive measure against Iran.
Obama did not, however, appear to defend this assertion: merely restate it. The question of why the US needed to spend so much money on a missile base to defend against nuclear weapons Iran doesn’t have in a place far outside of the range of Iran’s best missiles was never answered.