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Obama hits back following criticism over assuring Medvedev flexibility in missile defence negotiati

Washington, Tue, 27 Mar 2012 ANI

Washington, Mar 27(ANI): US President Barack Obama hit back at Republicans who had slammed him for telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he could adopt flexible approach in the missile defence negotiations if re-elected to the post.

"The only way I get this stuff done is if I'm consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I've got bipartisan support. Frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations. I think the stories you guys have been writing over the last 24 hours is pretty good evidence of that," The Telegraph quoted Obama, as saying.

Obama, who is attending a nuclear summit in Seoul, said that the volatile political environment in the United States did not favour in-depth deliberation of issues, including defence and arms control.

Obama had earlier come under fire for the passing controversial comments on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Obama was overheard on an open microphone telling Medvedev that he could be more flexible in negotiations on the issue of missile defence if he is re-elected in November.

"This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility," Obama had said on the sidelines of a nuclear security summit in South Korea.

"I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir," Medvedev said in response.

Obama's comments had sparked off criticism from Republicans, including White House frontrunner Mitt Romney who slammed them "an alarming and troubling development".

"President Obama signalled that he's going to cave to Russia on missile defence but the American people have a right to know where else he plans to be 'flexible' in a second term President Obama needs to level with the American public about his real agenda," Sky News quoted Romney, as saying.

The White House, however, tried to downplay the issue by stressing it is committed to implementing the missile defence shield despite Russian objections. (ANI)

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