The U.S. and Russian Presidents caught making candid statements about the anti-ballistic missile shield

President Obama was caught off-guard candidly talking with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev by live microphones while they were waiting for members of the Press to be led into the room on the eve of a global nuclear security summit in Soul, the South Korean Capital. President Obama was overheard assuring the Russian President that he would have “more flexibility” with regards to controversial issues like missile defense after the U.S. Presidential elections in November.

The missile issue under discussion is an anti ballistic missile shield program proposed by the U.S. and NATO including participation by Romania, Poland, Turkey and Spain. Russia has been offered a role as well but is hesitant to join this project as they feel that the system could gain the ability to shoot down the nuclear missiles that Russia uses as a deterrent and this would weaken its defense. They would like a legally binding pledge from the U.S. that their missiles would not be targeted by this system and also want joint control of its usage.

As expected the Republicans on their campaign trail have immediately caught the bit between their teeth claiming that President Obama has been treating Russia with kid gloves; with Mitt Romney calling the comment “alarming and troubling”, and stating that he felt this was a bad time for the President to be “ pulling his punches” with the American public.

In defense of the comments the White house has said that as this was a year when both the U.S. and Russia go to the polls to elect a new President, the political will for a breakthrough in negotiations is unlikely, and “Therefore, President Obama and President Medvedev agreed that it was best to instruct our technical experts to do the work of better understanding our respective positions, providing space for continued discussions on missile defense cooperation going forward.”

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