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Obama seeks to 'reset' ties with Russia

Last updated on: July 6, 2009 

Obama seeks to 'reset' ties with Russia

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Keen to "reset" the damaged relations with Russia, US President Barack Obama said on Monday that the two countries have "more in common than they have differences" as his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev hoped that "complex pages" in the bilateral ties would be closed and a new leaf turned.
   
Welcoming Obama in the ornate Kremlin room in Moscow, the Russian President expressed hope that after their talks the
relations between the two former Cold War rivals would witness an upswing.
   
Obama, accompanied by wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, is here on a three-day maiden visit, which he had
said was aimed at re-setting the damaged ties with Russia.

Text: Vinay Shukla for PTI in Moscow

 


Image: US President Barack Obama (R), first lady Michelle Obama (L), daughters Sasha (L) and Malia step off Air Force One as they arrive at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
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'US and Russia have lot in common'

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"We hope that as a result of our today and tomorrow's work, a full-blooded bilateral interaction, we would close the complex pages in the history of Russian-American relations and open a new chapter," Medvedev said, as he received Obama for
their parleys in the "limited format" in the Green Drawing Room of the Grand Kremlin Palace.
    
Obama thanked Medvedev for the "wonderful welcome and hospitality" and underscored that on the whole range of issues, including security, economy, energy and environmental issues, Russia and the USA have "much more common" than issues dividing them. "The US and Russia have more in common than they have differences," the US President said.    

Image: US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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Reduction in nukes, tops the agenda

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The two leaders were assisted by their Foreign Ministers and senior aides. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was replaced by Under Secretary of State William Burns as she is still recovering from an elbow injury she received after a fall on June 17.
    
Later this evening after their delegation level talks,Obama and Medvedev are expected to sign a framework communique on the reduction of their strategic nuclear weapons, which would be a sort of a roadmap to finalise the new legallybinding arms control pact to replace Cold War-era START-1 treaty, expiring in December, Kremlin Foreign Policy aide Sergei Prikhodko said.


Image: US President Barack Obama meets with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Kremlin in Moscow
Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters
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Russia-US agreements on troop supplies to be signed

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Russia-US agreements on the transit of American military supplies to troops in Afghanistan via Russian territory and bilateral military cooperation are also expected to be signed after Monday's talks.
    
Earlier in an interview to a Russian media outlet, Obama said he was looking forward to explore with Moscow the possibilities of cooperation on economic and defence issues besides on dealing with terrorism and issues like Iran.

Image: US President Barack Obama takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Russian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
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