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GORKI, November 23 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow and Washington still have time to reach mutual understanding in the missile defense issue, if Russia's security interests are taken into account.
"There is time to reach mutual understanding," Medvedev said in a televised address in connection with the deployment of U.S. missile defense facilities in Europe.
"Russia, too, has the political will to reach the necessary accords, which might open up an essentially new chapter in our relations with the USA and NATO.
"Of course, the dialogue with the USA and the NATO over missile defense will continue; we agreed on it with U.S. President Barack Obama in the course of our latest meeting, where I had to clarify our concerns.
"If our partners take an honest and responsible approach toward the task to take into account our legitimate interests in the sphere of security, I'm confident we will be able to come to terms. If they offer us to cooperate or work against our own interests, no common denominator will come out, and we'll have to give other answers.
"Our actions will be taken in accordance with real development of events at each subsequent stage of the implementation of the U.S. plan," the Russian president said.
Russia is ready for the dialogue with the USA over missile defense, but only through creating clear legal groundwork for such cooperation.
"We're not closing the door to continuing the dialogue with the USA and NATO over ABM issues or practical cooperation in this field. We are ready for it.
"However, the path to such work is through creating clear legal groundwork for such interaction, the groundwork to take into account our legitimate interests and concerns. We are open to dialogue. We are hoping for reasonable and constructive approach on the part of our western partners," the Russian president said.