Medvedev hopes for positive Russia-US partnership under Obama

December 31st, 2008 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaMoscow, Dec 30 (RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Tuesday expressed hope that Russia-US ties will improve under the leadership of Barack Obama and called on the president-elect to launch a joint effort to deal with global problems. In a seasonal message to Obama released by the Kremlin press service, Medvedev said Russia and the US had accumulated valuable experience in cooperating on international problems.

“I am sure that at the present time it will be in special demand. I act on the assumption that we will, without delay, start working together along all major lines, taking into consideration the situation in the world and our countries’ interests,” Medvedev said.

Obama will assume office Jan 20.

“You are assuming the post of president of the US at a trying moment. But I am sure that despite the scale and complexity of outstanding problems, you will meet with success,” the Russian president said.

He added that he was sure that Russia and the US would manage to “augment the positive experience in cooperation on the basis of pragmatism and a balance of interests”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in mid-December that Medvedev would meet with Obama shortly after his inauguration.

Russia-US relations have been frayed in recent times. The standoff over NATO’s eastward expansion, US missile defence plans and the budding US alliance with Georgia - which fought a war with Russia in August - has threatened to unravel nuclear arms control treaties between the two former Cold War foes.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently said he expected Russia’s relations with the US to improve after Obama takes office in January. His words were echoed by Medvedev.

Obama said earlier this month that he wanted to “reset” relations between Washington and an “increasingly assertive” Moscow.

“We want to cooperate with them where we can, and there are a whole host of areas particularly around nonproliferation of weapons and terrorism where we can cooperate, but we also have to send a clear message that they have to act in ways that are not bullying their neighbours,” Obama said.

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