Russia and the United States may resolve their standoff on the U.S. global missile defence with Washington providing security guarantees to Moscow that the system is not aimed at Russian nuclear deterrence forces.
Under a compromise formula being discussed by the two sides, the U.S. and Russian Presidents will exchange political declarations, pledging to cooperate on missile defences and not to use them against each other, a leading Russian daily said citing Russian and American diplomatic sources.
U.S. assurances will come in the form of a so-called “presidential agreement” that does not require legislative approval. President Vladimir Putin for his part will sign a memorandum of understanding confirming the agreement.
The documents are also expected to set out a mechanism for mutual notifications, sharing of information, joint exercises and threat assessment.
The breakthrough agreement will be discussed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at their first meeting in Berlin on Tuesday, The Kommersant Daily reported.
Mr. Obama last year promised outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to show “greater flexibility” on missile defence after his re-election for a second term.
The “executive agreement” on missile defence will allow Mr. Obama to bypass the Congress, whose Republican majority vowed to block any security guarantees to Russia.
However, the next U.S. President will not be bound by Mr. Obama’s “presidential agreement”.