Washington: President Barack Obama welcomed
Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev to the White House on Thursday,
crediting improved US relations with the Kremlin for a series
of foreign policy breakthroughs.
The two leaders met for Oval Office talks encompassing
key diplomatic and security issues and were to hold a joint
press conference, before both taking part in a US-Russia
business summit in Washington.
Medvedev arrived in Washington fresh from a tour of
Silicon Valley, which saw him brandish an iPad and courting
Internet pioneers in a bid to showcase his effort to launch a
technology revolution in Russia.
"I think that we believe that this visit takes place at a
new phase in US-Russia relations," said Ben Rhodes, director
of strategic communications on the National Security Council.
"It comes after a period when we`ve made very substantial
progress in resetting the US-Russia relationship and making
concrete progress on a number of very important and
Obama took office vowing to recalibrate relations with
the Kremlin, after a tense period in the latter years in the
Bush administration, which included tensions over Russia`s war
Administration officials say that "reset" -- reciprocated
by Medvedev -- has resulted in important progress, for example
with a new nuclear arms reduction treaty to replace the START
agreement and new UN nuclear sanctions on Iran.
Russia has also cooperated with Washington on supplying
US troops in Afghanistan, and now both sides want to move
beyond "flashpoint" issues and seek new areas of cooperation,
including in economics.