Putin seeks guarantee on missile by decree
MOSCOW - ReutersMoscow will seek closer ties with the United States but will not tolerate interference in its affairs and wants guarantees a U.S. missile shield will not be used against Russia, under the terms of a decree signed by President Vladimir Putin on May 7.
Putin set out foreign policy priorities in a wide-ranging document signed hours after his inauguration to a six-year term as president, veering little from an article he wrote on the subject during the election campaign.
Moscow wants to bring cooperation with Washington “to a truly strategic level” but relations must be based on “equality, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for one another’s interests,” the decree said. Russia will “consistently stand up for its policy in connection with the creation by the U.S. of a global missile defense system, seeking firm guarantees it is not directed against Russia’s nuclear deterrent forces.”
A message for the US
The decree touched on policy around the world, but it served as a message to the U.S. ahead of Putin’s expected meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama, who hosts a Group of Eight industrial powers summit later this month. Relations improved during the presidency of Putin’s protégé Dmitry Medvedev, who signed a landmark nuclear arms limitation pact with Obama in 2010. But ties have been strained over U.S. and NATO plans for an anti-missile shield in Europe and deep differences over the bloody upheaval in Libya and Syria.