“Despite continued US efforts, Russia firm on missile defense, sanctions”

“Despite continued US efforts, Russia firm on missile defense, sanctions”
July 4-14, 2009
     US official Gary Samore stated that US concessions on strategic nuclear issues could convince Russia to help toughen sanctions against Iran, but an unnamed Russian foreign ministry official said there are “no reasons” to expect such a deal (Reuters). Earlier, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called additional sanctions “counterproductive” and urged the US to continue pursuing dialogue with Iran (Agence France-Presse). Vladimir Yevseyev writes that Moscow remains skeptical of US indications that plans for a European missile defense system could be withdrawn if Iran’s nuclear and missile programs were stopped. Yevseyev argues that the US and Russia should make joint decisions on missile defense upon analyzing threats not only from Iran but also from other missile-armed Middle Eastern states with potential nuclear ambitions (RIA Novosti).
     Robert Legvold argues that the aim of US outreach to Russia has been to emphasize common interests rather than pursue a quid pro quo to abandon missile defense plans in exchange for cooperation against Iran. However, Russia’s concern is that the missile defense system would expand and threaten Moscow, especially with facilities in the Czech Republic and Poland. David Kramer believes Moscow has limited influence over Tehran and will remain unwilling to sacrifice its economic interests in Iran (VOA News).
Reuters | Agence France-Presse | RIA Novosti | VOA News

Related post:
“Pursuing a US-Russia ‘grand bargain’ over Iran”

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