Moscow hopes Obama more flexible on missile defense

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia says it hopes President-elect Barack Obama will be more "farsighted" than the Bush administration about a controversial missile defense system in Europe.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) is repeating that if the U.S. cancels plans to deploy 10 missile interceptors in Poland and related radar in the Czech Republic, Moscow will scrap plans for short-range missiles in its westernmost region of Kaliningrad.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (dih-MEE'-tree med-VYEH'-dyev) has described America's position on the European missile system as "extremely rigid." But he says he thinks there's "a chance" of a reversal.

Putin and Medvedev also say they hope the new U.S. administration will be more willing to negotiate an extension or replacement of a nuclear arms reduction treaty that expires the end of this year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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