Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will address the issue of an international missile defense system today in Lisbon, according to Sergei Prikhodko, who advises Medvedev on foreign policy.
Prikhodko said creating a joint system was realistic and “a very simple process” but that Russia wanted to be regarded as a full partner. Russia is initially expected to build a parallel system that would share early-warning data on missile threats; later, the systems could be more fully integrated, officials say.
Russia’s new attitude on the plan stems in part from the fact that the system would rely on smaller mobile missiles rather than the larger missiles in fixed ground sites proposed in President George W. Bush’s plan, which Russia regards as more of a threat to its own missiles.
Also, Russian leaders have concluded that the United States and allies are going to build a missile defense system “with them or without them,” so they would be better off cooperating, Gary Samore, the top White House official on nonproliferation, told an audience Thursday in Washington.