Obama, Medvedev agree to broaden bilateral ties

21:49, June 25, 2010      

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U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and his visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attend a joint press conference after their meeting at the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, June 24, 2010. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev agreed Thursday to reset and broaden the bilateral relationship through "non-security" cooperation.

Medvedev's visit, which is focused on economic and science and technology issues rather than geopolitics revealed improved U.S.-Russia relations as well as Russia's aspiration to lose its over-dependence on energy exports.


During their meeting, Obama and Medvedev discussed common concerns over security, including nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, Russia's relations with its European neighbors, the U.S. missile defense plan in Europe, Kyrgyzstan, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula.

Ben Rhodes, U.S. deputy National Security Adviser, said Medvedev's visit "comes after a period when we've made very substantial progress in resetting the U.S.-Russia relationship."

Under the Obama administration, the U.S. has made repairing relations a priority and adopted three main actions: resuming talks on nuclear disarmament, suspending the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's enlargement to eastern Europe and adjusting its missile defense plans in east Europe.

In response, Russia signed a new arms reduction treaty with the United States, opened a new logistic route for U.S. troops to Afghanistan through Russia and supported the U.S. on sanctions against Iran.

But the key note in Medvedev's visit was not consensus on political security, but common ground on economic issues while putting aside differences and seeking common prosperity.

Medvedev Thursday said in a joint press conference that Russia and U.S. "have done a lot to build confidence between our countries" and "have made steps aimed at establishing a more firm construction," but this is not enough for bilateral economic ties to change.

For Medvedev's part, the top priority for his visit was to expand and broaden bilateral trade between Russia and the U.S.

Analysts said Medvedev's visit showed Russia wanted to end its reliance on energy exports and pursue modern strategic development aims.

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