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Obama says U.S., NATO want to improve relations with Russia

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday both the United States and NATO want to improve relations with Russia, defending its new missile defense system could lead to further collaboration with Russia.

"It is important for us to reach out to Russia, ... We want to improve generally not only U.S.-Russian relations, but also NATO-Russian relations," Obama told reporters after meeting with visiting NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in the White House.

Looking for Russia's cooperation on dealing with global challenges, the Obama administration has vowed to "press the reset button" with Moscow through more bilateral strategic cooperation and political conversation.

The latest effort Washington has taken on improving relations with Russia was to abandon the Bush-era missile defense shield program in Eastern Europe, which was viewed by Russia as a grave threat to its security.

President Obama, however, reiterated the necessity of missile defense deployment in Europe, unveiling a "phased, adaptive approach" for missile defense in the continent.

In their meeting, Obama and Rasmussen also discussed the new missile defense system.

"We both agreed that the configuration that we have proposed is one that ultimately will serve the interests of not only the United States, but also NATO alliance members most effectively," said Obama, adding that the new system could "potentially lead to further collaboration with Russia."

The new system, according to the Pentagon, would sustain U.S. homeland defense against long-range ballistic missile threats, speed protection of U.S. deployed forces, civilian personnel, and their accompanying families against the near-term missile threat from Iran.
 
 

 
 
 Source : Xinhua  Editor: Ivy
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