Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama have agreed to continue dialogue on missile defense despite a difference of opinion on this issue.
“Despite disagreements in our assessment, we agreed to continue joint search for ways to resolve controversial issues in the area of missile defense,” the leaders said in a joint statement on Monday.
The sides also agreed to adhere to the strict implementation of the new START treaty and continue dialogue on strategic stability.
Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.
Moscow insists it should receive legal guarantees from Washington that its European missile defense shield will not target Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.
The New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), which entered into force on February 5, requires that the United States and Russia each reduce by 2018 to no more than 1550 deployed strategic warheads on no more than 700 deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) and nuclear-capable bombers.
The treaty includes monitoring measures that provide confidence that each side could detect a militarily significant violation in a timely manner.
Under the treaty, the sides routinely exchange data on strategic offensive weapons on March 1 and September 1 every year.