Ahead of her meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised a rather unique possible solution for the controversial missile defense system in Eastern Europe. Russia, she insisted, might have the opportunity for “joint research, joint development, and even eventually, assuming we can reach such an agreement, joint deployment.”
The suggestion is likely a move to side-line the issue, one of the most contentious disputes in US-Russian relations. The Russian government has insisted that the missile defense system in Poland is directed at them, while the US maintains it is aimed at Iran (in spite of Iran’s best missiles being far out of its range). Instead, the talks will focus on the question of nuclear disarmament.
Earlier this week, the Obama Administration reportedly offered to abandon the shield in return for Russian help against Iran. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev insists, however, that his government will not haggle with the US over the defense shield.