MOSCOW, March 27 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. leader Barack Obama again failed to come to terms over missile defense at the nuclear security summit in Seoul on Monday. According to Medvedev, the opportunity to reach an accord on this problem is not lost yet. Experts believe the countries will begin to handle missile defense issues after the U.S. presidential election.
The meeting between the presidents on the sidelines of the summit showed that the parties' positions on missile defense had not charged, the "Nezavisimaya Gazeta" writes. The dialogue will continue at experts' level. Nevertheless, Obama promised that the course towards ridding the world of nuclear weapons would continue. He acknowledged that the USA had a far larger amount of nuclear armaments than it needed. The USA can reduce their arsenal without weakening its security or the security of its allies, according to the U.S. president.
Medvedev summed up the results of the meeting with Obama to reporters thus: the parties' position on missile defense remain the same. The dialogue will continue at experts' level. There is still a possibility to reach an accord.
The newspaper notes that nobody expected a breakthrough at the talks. Medvedev will soon hand over the helm to President-elect Vladimir Putin, and Obama is seeking a second term in office. Some reporters said Obama has passed a written message to Putin through Medvedev, but nothing is known about its content.
The Russian president, who had warned the USA ahead of the summit about tough response regarding the European missile defense somewhat soften his tone at the summit saying "the time is not lost yet," and that "cooperation and discussion of all aspects might be more vigorous," the "RBK Daily" writes. The Russian delegation underlined that Obama's message to Putin was personal.
Obama's another message - which was not meant for the reporters - did leak to the press, the "Kommersant» said. The broadcasting of the meeting between the presidents began one minute earlier than planned, and everybody heard Obama telling Medvedev that the missile defense problem might be resolved. To which an honest answer was given: "I'll pass this information to Vladimir."
In open comments on the missile defense problem, the presidents - especially Medvedev - looked optimistic, the newspaper notes. "We touched upon the missile defense theme and saying the time had not been lost. Cooperation and discussion of all aspects related to the implementation of the idea of European missile defense might be more figures. Now is the time for work by technical experts," Dmitry Medvedev noted.
"Yes, our positions remain the same. But the dialogue is not only possible, but necessary. To be straightforward, we still have time to come to terms," he said. Bank in November 2011, President Medvedev severely criticized the USA for its uncompromising attitude toward the issue and threatened tough retaliatory measures.
The "Vedomosti" noted a change in the tone at the negotiations from cool to friendly. The tone of the negotiations contrasted with the unfriendly rhetoric which stepped up as Vladimir Putin's election campaign was launched, the newspaper writes. The presidents were pointedly amiable. Medvedev called the three years after the beginning of the "reloading" the best time in bilateral relations in the recent past, while Obama underlined that he could not have wished for better negotiator than Medvedev.
The newspaper, citing its source in the Russian delegation, notes Obama's hope that Medvedev will continue to improve US-Russian relations at the post of prime minister. The "Vedomosti" believes it is not mere rhetoric and that premier Medvedev would be able to participate in some to-level events. An anonymous expert close to the Kremlin thinks that new formats of interaction with the USA might be found for Medvedev. Russia’s domestic election rhetoric does not reflect real relations; they are much more promising, a member of the Russian delegation noted.
"Both parties are aware that it is necessary to compensate the damage caused by tough election rhetoric," Carnegie Center expert Nikolai Petrov said.
"Perhaps, this is what can be accomplished by premier Medvedev, ever "a good investigator" in relations with the West, Petrov said.