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U.S., Russian leaders meet in Hokkaido, disagree on missile shield
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19:46, July 07, 2008

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Russia and the United States still disagreed on the deployment of a U.S. missile shield in eastern Europe, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said ahead of the G8 summit in northern Japan Monday.

"There are certain questions on our agenda where we disagree, and these are the matters pertaining to Iran and North Korea. But then certainly there are others with respect to European affairs and this missile defense where we have differences," Medvedev said after his first meeting as Russian head of state with his U.S. counterpart George W. Bush.

Medvedev, who held bilateral talks with Bush for one hour on his G8 summit debut in Toyako, said he was hoping for further discussions with the United States so as to narrow the differences between them.

He said Russia hopes to be in good terms with the next U.S. president, who was expected to succeed Bush in a couple of months from now.

Bush praised Medvedev as a smart guy who "understood the issues very well," saying that the United States and Russia have worked together on the Iranian nuclear issue.

The United States is expected to sign a treaty this week with the Czech Republic on the planned radar station in the eastern European state. It was also seeking to deploy 10 interceptor missiles in Poland, claiming that the missile shield is designed to protect its European allies against what it termed "rogue states."

Russia has strongly opposed the U.S. missile defense plan over the past several years, warning that it will target its nuclear missiles at central Europe if the shield was erected.

Source: Xinhua

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