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23 Sep, 2009 17:10

Medvedev to present Russia’s stand on global politics at the UN

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will address the UN General Assembly for the first time later on Wednesday. He will also meet the US President to discuss the anti-missile defense issue and a new strategic arms treaty.

In his speech, Medvedev will focus on Russia’s view on the current system of international relations. The Russian leader has repeatedly said the United Nations has an essential role in settling globally important problems.

Medvedev will spend three days in the United States, where he has planned talks with the leaders of China, Japan, France and Germany.

He is also expected to take part in the UN Security Council meeting scheduled for September 24. The meeting will be devoted to nuclear disarmament and counteracting the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

After that, Dmitry Medvedev is to attend the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which will be devoted to tackling the consequences of the global economic crisis.

Tête-à-tête with Obama

In New York, President Medvedev is also scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama.

The latter has addressed the 64th Assembly with a call for shared responsibility for a common future.

”No longer do we have the luxury of indulging our difference to the exclusion of the work we must do together,” Obama said. “We must embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect and our work must begin now.”

However, Barack Obama pointed out that protecting his country and people’s interest remains his highest priority.

It is unclear yet which of these trends will dominate the upcoming talks between Russian and American leaders, where they plan to discuss the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty as well as US anti- missile defense plans.

Meanwhile, Sergey Prikhodko, an aid to Russia’s president, said the sides do not have any “super tasks” to discuss in their meeting.

"We are satisfied that we are developing a very intensive and open discussion of the entire agenda of Russian-US relations covering not only purely bilateral relations but also strategic stability matters," Prikhodko told journalists on Wednesday.

"We are ready to work in this vein and will work sensing the reciprocal readiness of the U.S. side,” he added.

Hopes for AMD cooperation

America’s ambitions to build an anti-missile defense shield in Eastern Europe have recently been the biggest stumbling block to effective relations between the two countries.

Moscow proposed joint projects, but Washington stuck to its own – missile interceptors in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. This was too close for comfort for Russia.

Now the US has revised its plans, “having reassessed the Iranian threat.”

“To put it simply, our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter and swifter defenses of American forces and America's allies,” said President Obama last week.

For the US, the new structures are set to save money. Washington also stresses some of the technical benefits.

“We have now the opportunity to deploy new sensors and interceptors in northern and southern Europe that, near term, can provide missile defense coverage against more immediate threats from Iran or others,” commented US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Political goals are also a big part of the game. The new approach to missile defense leaves space for maneuvering with Moscow.

Political analyst Andrey Kortunov believes that although the United States does not necessarily expect any direct concessions on Russia’s part, it could hope for Russia’s reciprocal flexibility on a number of issues, including Iran.

Meanwhile, Mikhail Troitsky, political analyst from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, doesn't think Russia's decision to possibly back sanctions against Iran should be viewed as a concession to Washington.

“It depends on what sort of resolution is going to be adopted towards Iran at the Security Council meeting. It is likely that Russia does see certain red lines in Iranian behaviour that it are clearly advisable that Iran does not cross and I think that President Medvedev already noted that it's unacceptable on the part of Iran to, for example, threaten the annihilation of Israel or to deny the Holocaust,” Troitsky said. “For that purpose, I do think Russia will side with, at least, the US and the UK in endorsing any resolution of this kind. But I don't think Russia will go much farther in imposing sanctions on Iran this time, because it may be seen as Russia's concession for the cancellation of the missile defense project as it was planned in Eastern Europe.”

But before the US reveals more details of what’s to come, Russia has already made clear that only a joint project will be acceptable.

“As far as missile defense is concerned, we view it negatively unless we are to build it jointly,” Chief of the Armed Forces General Staff, Nikolay Makarov, stated on Monday. “So far, they [the US] have not agreed to develop joint missile defense.”

Specifics of the new plans have yet to be laid out by the United States.

Russia has shown it is ready to listen.

“We will work together to develop effective measures against the risks of missile proliferation. Measures which will take into account the interests and concerns of all parties, and which will ensure equal security to all states in Europe. We appreciate the US president's responsible approach to the implementation of our agreements. I'm ready to continue the dialogue,”
said President Medvedev on September 17.

Political analysts are positive about the possible outcomes of the talks between the Russian and American presidents.

“We can expect a general improvement of Russia-American relations,” said political analyst Kirill Koktysh speaking to RT.