Russia hopes "down-to-earth" Obama drops Star Wars

June 17, 2009
By Dmitry Solovyov

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia hopes U.S. President Barack Obama will not pursue his predecessor’s plan to deploy weapons in space but Moscow is ready to respond appropriately to any such moves, a senior Russian general said on Wednesday.

Russia, negotiating with the United States a new treaty to curb nuclear arms to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1) expiring in December, has argued against the “weaponization of space.”

President Dmitry Medvedev, due to receive Obama next month on his first visit to Moscow, has said Russia’s conditions for new nuclear arms accords include banning arms in space. …

“As far as I know, today’s U.S. administration has somewhat different plans — they have become more down-to-earth and more realistic,” one of Russia’s deputy defense ministers Vladimir Popovkin, in charge of weapons, told a news conference.

He said Russia could find a cheap way of dealing with any potential U.S. space defense system. …