Russian President Vladimir Putin says his US counterpart Barack Obama is willing to revive stalled talks on a planned US missile system in Europe, but a military lobby in the Congress and the "conservative" State Department are holding him back.
"Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if President Obama is re-elected for a second term? In principle, yes, it is," Putin told Russia Today news network in an exclusive interview on Thursday.
"But this isn't just about President Obama. My feeling is that he is a sincere man and that he sincerely wants to implement positive change. But can he do it, will they let him do it? There is... the military lobby, and the Department of State, which is quite conservative," he said.
Putin also laid special emphasis on the need for dialogue on the controversial shield. He however pointed out that Moscow was "not sure" that Washington was "ready for this kind of cooperation."
Negotiations between Russia and the United States on the missile project are deadlocked over Washington's reluctance to give Moscow categorical assurances that the missile system will not be used against it.
Russia says the project could pose a threat to its national security and has threatened a host of countermeasures.
In May, the Russian General Staff said it did not rule out a pre-emptive strike against the US missile system in the event of an "aggravation of the situation."