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US has reset relationship with Russia: Obama

Obama has "reset" button of relationship with its Cold War adversary Russia.



Washington: US President Barack Obama has said that he has "reset" the button of relationship with its Cold War adversary Russia, ties with which had dipped a new low during the previous Bush administration.

"I firmly believe that America`s most significant national security interests and priorities could be advanced most effectively through cooperation, not an adversarial relationship with Russia," Obama said at a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev.

"That`s why I committed to resetting the relationship between our two nations. And in President Medvedev, I`ve found a solid and reliable partner. We listen to one another, and we speak candidly," he said.

"By any measure, we have made significant progress and achieved concrete results. Together, we negotiated and signed the historic New START Treaty, committing our nations to significant reductions in deployed nuclear weapons. Today, we reaffirmed our commitment to work to ratify this treaty as soon as possible so it can enter into force and set the stage for further cuts and cooperation," Obama said.

"Together, we`ve strengthened the global non-proliferation regime, so that as we meet our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, other nations meet theirs and are held accountable if they don`t," he said.

"Along with our international partners, we passed and are enforcing new UN sanctions against North Korea. We offered Iran the prospect of a better future, and when they refused, we joined with Russia and our partners on the Security Council to impose the toughest sanctions ever faced by the government of Iran," Obama said.

"Together, our nations have deepened our cooperation against violent extremism, as terrorists threaten both our people, be it in Times Square or in Moscow. And today, we`ve agreed to expand our cooperation on intelligence and counter-terrorism," he said.

Obama said the Russian transit routes now play a vital role in supplying American and NATO forces in Afghanistan. "And to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons, we came together at our nuclear security summit, where our two nations made numerous commitments, including agreeing to eliminate enough plutonium for about 17,000 nuclear weapons," he said.

The two countries have agreed to continue closely to coordinate their diplomatic and humanitarian efforts following the tragic outbreak of ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan.

"Our two countries continue to disagree on certain issues, such as Georgia, and we addressed those differences candidly. But by moving forward in areas where we do agree, we have succeeded in resetting our relationship, which benefits regional and global security," he said.

"This includes, I would note, a change in the attitudes among the Russian people, who today have a far more favourable view of the United States, and that in turn creates more space for additional partnership," Obama said.

"Indeed, this has been the real focus of our work today and of President Medvedev`s visit, not simply resetting our relationship, but also broadening it, because 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the US-Russian relationship has to be about more than just security and arms control. It has to be about our shared prosperity and what we can build together," Obama said.

"That`s why we created the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission during my visit to Moscow last year to forge new partnerships, not just between governments, but between our businesses, our peoples, and our societies. Today, we agreed to forge new cooperation across a whole range of areas," he said.

PTI

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