Missile defense is among the stickiest issues to be tackled this week during President Obama's visit to Moscow. And he and his counterpart wasted no time in addressing it, judging by this joint statement:
In accordance with the understanding reached at the meeting in London on April 1, 2009, Russia and the United States plan to continue the discussion concerning the establishment of cooperation in responding to the challenge of ballistic missile proliferation. Our countries are intensifying their search for optimum ways of strengthening strategic relations on the basis of mutual respect and interests.
We have instructed our experts to work together to analyze the ballistic missile challenges of the 21st century and to prepare appropriate recommendations, giving priority to the use of political and diplomatic methods. At the same time they plan to conduct a joint review of the entire spectrum of means at our disposal that allow us to cooperate on monitoring the development of missile programs around the world. Our experts are intensifying dialogue on establishing the Joint Data Exchange Center, which is to become the basis for a multilateral missile-launch notification regime.
The Russian Federation and the United States of America reaffirm their willingness to engage in equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation with all interested countries that share their assessments of the danger of global proliferation of ballistic missiles. We call upon all countries having a missile potential to refrain from steps that could lead to missile proliferation and undermine regional and global stability.