Monday, March 26, 2012
Obama asks Russia for 'space' through election
President Barack Obama offered a private request Monday to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for some “space” on missile defense ahead of November’s elections.
“On all these issues, particularly on missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama said, referring to incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a TV pool reporter who heard audio recorded by a Russian reporter who was in the room moments before the two leaders spoke to reporters after their 90-minute meeting.
“Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you,” Medvedev responded.
A U.S. pool video camera in the room caught part of the audio, but not the piece about missile defense.
“This is my last election,” Obama said in audio that could be heard on the TV pool’s recording and that POLITICO listened to. “After my election I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev told Obama he understood and “will transmit this information to Vladimir.”
White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said in a statement that “the United States is committed to implementing our missile defense system, which we’ve repeatedly said is not aimed at Russia."
"However, given the longstanding difference between the US and Russia on this issue, it will take time and technical work before we can try to reach an agreement. Since 2012 is an election year in both countries, with an election and leadership transition in Russia and an election in the United States, it is clearly not a year in which we are going to achieve a breakthrough," Rhodes said. "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.”
I'll give you some space...how about eight by ten down in Marion Illinois?
Posted over at Politico