Medvedev looks forward to better ties with US (Lead)

November 16th, 2008 - 2:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Nov 16 (RIA Novosti) Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has expressed his hope that relationship with Washington would improve under the administration of president-elect Barack Obama when he takes office.Medvedev said this in his address to the Council on Foreign Relations Saturday following a summit of the Group of 20 rich and emerging economies on the financial crisis.

“We welcome the election of Barack Obama, and count on him to take steps to overcome the problems that have built in Russian-American relations,” he said.

“I believe that currently, Russian-US relations lack the trust that they need,” the Russian president said.

The tone of Medvedev’s Saturday speech was in sharp contrast to that of his state of the nation address, a day after Obama’s election victory, when the Russian leader pledged to deploy tactical missiles near Poland in response to US missile shield plans.

On the missile shield issue, Medvedev said Saturday: “Our actions will be only a response, and will only come if the (US missile shield) programme continues in a manner that is unacceptable to us.”

Following Medvedev’s speech, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who has been acting as an informal adviser to Obama, said the Russian position provides “a huge opportunity” in bilateral relations.

“I don’t think Russia and the United States have ever had two such young and impressive presidents who will be able to communicate in a new generational way, and I as the old lady here would like to wish you all the best of luck,” she said.

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