Even as the United States and Russia work to implement a nuclear treaty to reduce their total number of nuclear weapons, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev touched upon the highly sensitive issue of missile defense on Thursday as he met with President Barack Obama at the G8 Summit in France.
Obama - who is in Europe as part of a six-day tour of the continent - will also shore up support for the shield when he meets Central and Eastern European leaders in Poland on Saturday.
Medvedev said on Thursday that it will take until 2020 to finally resolve the issue of anti-missile defense, saying that he and President Barack Obama are laying the foundation for future politicians to resolve the matter.
Medvedev said the political motivation and impetus for that needed to be in place before an accord could be reached.
Today we talked about how to keep on filling out these achievements and how to develop our relations in, well, quite sensitive issues including anti-missile defense, Medvedev told reporters at a joint press conference with Obama.
I have told my counterpart, Barack Obama, that this issue will be finally solved in the future, like, for example, in the year 2020, but we, at present, might lay the foundation for other politicians' activities. And this would be a sound foundation for cooperation between our two countries in the future. We will, of course, pursue this track, but political impetus are necessary.
Both Obama and Medvedev touted their relationship, with Medvedev twice emphasizing the presidents' personal relationship in helping advance talks between each side on various security and economic issues still pending between both nations, including the U.S.-backed proposal by Russia to join the World Trade Organization.
I would like to emphasize that I am satisfied with our personal relationship that helps us advance relations between our two countries, Medvedev said at a joint press conference with Obama in Deauville, France, where the G8 summit is being held.
Let me once again emphasize that I'm quite happy about the way our personal relationship develops, Medvedev said later. I hope it will have a positive impact on our bilaterals. We have a lot to do together.