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Obama set for high-stakes missile defense talks

President Obama was headed for Poland on Friday, the fourth and final stop on his six-day tour of Europe.

CBS News chief White House correspondent Chip Reid reports Mr. Obama and his Polish counterparts are expected to talk about a proposed U.S. missile defense system and plans to make Poland more energy independent.

After his meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the G-8 economic summit -- President Obama said the pair wouldn't give up on trying to reach a compromise on the planned missile defense system in Eastern and Central Europe.

Despite repeated U.S. assurances that the defense system is being designed to counter the threat presented by Iran and North Korea, Russia's government has expressed concerns that the plan for American missile installations in their backyard could undermine their security.

"We're committed to working together so that we can find an approach and configuration that is consistent with the security needs of both countries, that maintains the strategic balance, and deals with potential threats," said Mr. Obama.

It's an issue that will also come up today in President Obama's meetings with Polish leaders in Warsaw. Under the U.S. plan, defense systems would be deployed on Polish soil.

Also on the agenda: Natural gas -- specifically how to extract gas trapped in rock from what may be Europe's largest gas reserve. Not only would it be a boon for U.S. energy companies, it would also help Poland become more energy independent.

Poland has prospects of becoming a major energy producer in the years ahead, particularly in shale gas, where America has tremendous experience in extracting and developing this industry.

There is also a security element to that discussion, as the ability to exploit gas reserves would lessen Poland's dependence on outside sources -- in other words, Russia -- sources which could become unpredictable in the future, explains Janusz Bugajski of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

President Obama will be spending just one night in Poland - he heads back to Washington on Saturday before hitting the road again Sunday to survey the tornado damage in Missouri.

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