News / USA

Obama, Medvedev Say They Have Reset US-Russia Relations


U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev say they have succeeded in resetting their countries' relationship, which had drifted in recent years.  The two leaders discussed trade and security at the White House Thursday, after going out for hamburgers.

Presidents Obama and Medvedev say the United States and Russia will broaden their cooperation on intelligence and counterterrorism, and have improved their economic ties.

Mr. Obama told reporters he and Mr. Medvedev have put their countries' relationship on a firmer footing, despite disagreeing about Russia's tensions with Georgia.

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

The president said he and his counterpart have moved beyond only discussing the issues covered in most previous U.S.-Russian meetings.

"Because 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the U.S.-Russian relationship has to be about more than just security and arms control," he said.  "It has to be about our shared prosperity, and what we can build together."

President Obama said he will speed discussions on Russia's entry into the World Trade Organization.  

U.S. support for Moscow's joining the WTO has come with conditions in the past.  But Mr. Obama says most of the differences have been resolved, and he believed the rest will be soon.

"Russia belongs in the WTO," he said.  "That is good for Russia, it is good for America, and it is good for the world economy."

Mr. Obama said a major hurdle was cleared when Moscow agreed to lift a six-month ban on the sale of U.S. poultry in Russia.

Mr. Medvedev said he believes the obstacles to his country joining the WTO can be removed in the next few months.

"There are some remaining technical minor problems, and our teams have been instructed to work as fast as possible," he said.  "We hope, and we have stated this, that their work will be finalized by the end of September this year."

President Obama said his replacement of his top commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, with General David Petraeus will not slow U.S. efforts to win the Afghan war.  He said Petraeus helped to shape the U.S. strategy there.

Mr. Medvedev was asked whether he had given Mr. Obama advice on Afghanistan, which the former Soviet Union had invaded in 1979 with disastrous results.  He said he supports the U.S.-led invasion if it can lead to a better life in Afghanistan.

"Having an effective state and a modern economy, which requires toiling more than a year," the Russian president.  "But this is the path to guarantee that the gravest scenarios of the last time will not repeat.

Mr. Obama said he and Mr. Medvedev agreed to coordinate humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan, where about 2,000 people have died in violence after the president was removed from power.

This was the seventh meeting between the two leaders, who will go to Toronto, Canada for the G20 economic summit, which begins Friday.

After their meetings at the White House, Mr. Obama took his Russian visitor to lunch at a hamburger restaurant near Washington.  Mr. Medvedev said the beef-and-cheese sandwiches were probably not very healthy, but quite tasty, and part of the spirit of America.

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs