Russian President Dmitry Medvedev lauded on Wednesday the Obama administration's decision to scrap plans for an Eastern Europe-based missile shield, a major irritant in relations with Moscow.
"We view this decision as a constructive step in the right direction that deserve a positive response from the international community," Medvedev said, referring to Washington's decision last week to shelve a Bush-era plan for an Eastern European missile defense shield.
He said the US government now considered that short- and medium-range missiles from Iran now pose a greater near-term threat than the intercontinental ballistic missiles the Bush plan addressed. A proposed new missile-defense plan would rely on a network of sensors and interceptor missiles based at sea, on land and in the air as a bulwark against any potential Iranian attack.
"We are prepared to engage in a thorough discussion of the US proposals...regarding cooperation in this area," Medvedev said.