Reset with Russia
April 01, 2009
07:07 PM EDT
07:07 PM EDT
Today President Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, where they discussed their intention to draft a new arms control treaty to replace the START agreement, and broad parameters of US-Russia relations in general. This morning Prime Minister Gordon Brown told President Obama, "Your first 70 days in office have changed America, and you've changed America's relationship with the world" – both President Obama and President Medvedev’s words standing together after the meeting gave hope that the Prime Minister’s words were true:
As I've said in the past, I think that over the last several years the relationship between our two countries has been allowed to drift. And what I believe we've begun today is a very constructive dialogue that will allow us to work on issues of mutual interest, like the reduction of nuclear weapons and the strengthening of our nonproliferation treaties; our mutual interest in dealing with terrorism and extremism that threatens both countries; our mutual interest in economic stability and restoring growth around the world; our mutual interest in promoting peace and stability in areas like the Middle East.
So I am very encouraged by the leadership of the President. I'm very grateful that he has taken the time to visit. I am especially excited about the fact that the President extended an invitation for me to visit Moscow to build on some of the areas that we discussed on today. And I have agreed to visit Moscow in July, which we both agreed was a better time than January to visit.
President Medvedev (as translated):
It is important to note that there are many points on which we can work. And indeed there are far more points in which we can -- where we can come closer, where we can work, rather than those points on which we have differences. Thus, by bringing our positions closer we can attain significant progress and, much more importantly, further our achievements.
I share the view of President Obama who said that our teams have worked really well in preparation of this meeting, and the declarations, the two declarations, which we are adopting are just another proof of that. And those are a declaration on the strategic weapons, and the declaration on the general framework of relations between Russia and the United States, which set good grounds for our further interaction.