Reset in U.S.-Russian Relations Paying Off, Obama, Says

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011 — The reset in U.S.-Russian rela­tions is pay­ing off with progress on the secu­ri­ty and eco­nom­ic fronts, the U.S. and Russ­ian pres­i­dents said in Deauville, France, today.
The two men held a bilat­er­al meet­ing as part of the G‑8 meet­ings. The G‑8 brings togeth­er the lead­ers of the world’s most heav­i­ly indus­tri­al­ized democ­ra­cies.

“Over the past two years, I think that we have built an out­stand­ing rela­tion­ship and, as a con­se­quence, we’ve been able to reset rela­tions between the Unit­ed States and Rus­sia in a way that is good for the secu­ri­ty and the pros­per­i­ty of both of our coun­tries,” Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said dur­ing a joint news con­fer­ence with Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Dmit­ry Medvedev.

Oba­ma point­ed to progress in imple­ment­ing the New START treaty, coop­er­a­tion on nuclear non-pro­lif­er­a­tion and coop­er­a­tion on coun­tert­er­ror­ism. In addi­tion, the two coun­tries are enforc­ing strong sanc­tions on Iran, and coop­er­at­ing on Afghanistan “where Rus­sia has been very help­ful in estab­lish­ing sup­ply lines for our troops there,” the pres­i­dent said. 

Medvedev agreed the rela­tion­ship has become warmer and more pro­duc­tive. Still, the Unit­ed States and Rus­sia will not agree on every inter­na­tion­al issue, he said. 

“It does not mean that we’ll have com­mon views and coin­cid­ing views on all the issues,” the Russ­ian pres­i­dent said through a trans­la­tor. “Each and every coun­try is sure to have its own nation­al pri­or­i­ties and interests.” 

The con­ver­sa­tions are about main­tain­ing a strate­gic bal­ance, “which we have been able to keep this bal­ance in place and after the New START treaty it has improved I think,” he said. 

Medvedev said the lead­ers are work­ing to con­tin­ue progress on bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense and in coun­tert­er­ror­ism. The two lead­ers also dis­cussed eco­nom­ic issues affect­ing both coun­tries and the path to Russia’s admis­sion into the World Trade Organization. 

The Russ­ian and Amer­i­can lead­ers also dis­cussed the pro­found changes in the Mid­dle East and North Africa. The two, “shared our ideas about how we can man­age the tran­si­tion process that’s tak­ing place through­out the region in a way that enhances pros­per­i­ty and oppor­tu­ni­ty for peo­ple there and ensures sta­bil­i­ty and resolves con­flicts in a peace­ful way,” Oba­ma said. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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