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. 'Not productive' to link US missile defense, Iran in talks: Medvedev
MADRID, March 3 (AFP) Mar 03, 2009
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday it was "not productive" to link talks over a US missile defense system in Europe with Iran's suspected nuclear program as proposed by Washington.

"If we are to speak about some sort of exchange, the question has not been presented in such a way, because it is not productive," he said when asked about a letter US President Barack Obama wrote to him regarding the two issues.

"Our American partners are ready to discuss this problem," added Medvedev at a joint news conference with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. "This is already good."

Earlier Tuesday the New York Times reported that Obama suggested in a secret letter sent to Medvedev three weeks ago that Washington would back off deployment of the missile defense shield if Moscow would help stop Iran from developing long-range missiles.

Confirming that Obama sent a letter to Medvedev, a senior US official told AFP on condition of anonymity that the missive covered "a broad range of topics including missile defense and how it relates to the Iranian threat."

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