President Obama assured Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Monday that he'd have "more flexibility" after the November election, during a conversation that appeared to focus on the touchy issue of missile defense.
Obama, during a sit-down with Medvedev in Seoul, urged Moscow to give him "space" until after November. The conversation was relayed by a TV pool producer who listened to the recording from a Russian journalist.
"This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility," Obama told Medvedev.
Obama appeared to be asking Medvedev to relay this point to Vladimir Putin, who recently won election to return to the Russian presidency.
"On all these issues, but particularly missile defense ... this can be solved but it's important for him to give me space," Obama said.
Medvedev told the president he understood the "message about space. Space for you ..."
After Obama noted he'd have more flexibility in the future, Medvedev told him: "I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir."