US, Russia to seek joint 'solutions' to missile defense row

US President Barack Obama and Russian leader Vladimir Putin said Monday they agreed to seek joint solutions to resolve their row over US plans to deploy a missile defense shield in Europe.

Meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Mexico, the two leaders said they would continue to seek agreement on an issue that has fed deep tensions between Russia and the United States in recent years.

"Despite differences in assessments, we have agreed to continue a joint search for solutions to challenges in the field of missile defense," they said in a joint statement after their talks.

Washington's effort to set up a NATO-backed missile defence shield in Europe has angered Moscow, which wants a legally binding agreement saying the system would not be aimed at or used against it at any time.

The statement came as Obama met Putin for the first time since Putin, known for his sometimes strident criticism of the West, returned to the Russian presidency.

The two leaders also said they were committed to implementing the new START nuclear weapons reduction pact set by Obama and the previous Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, in 2010.

© 2012 AFP

Source: AFP
Date: Jun 18, 2012