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Obama: 'Tremendous Progress' in US-Russia Relationship

President Barack Obama (file photo)

U.S. President Barack Obama has told Russian media that the new nuclear disarmament treaty between Russia and the United States is an example of "tremendous progress" made in bilateral ties.

President Obama spoke with Russian reporters ahead of his 50th birthday which is Thursday. The president noted that when he was born during the Cold War, no one would have imagined that Washington and Moscow would be partners on the international stage.

He said Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, is a "strong patriot" who fiercely defends his country's interests, but also recognizes that Russia will prosper from further bilateral and multilateral engagement. Obama said Medvedev is widely respected for holding those views.

Russia has released a postage stamp, matching envelope, and postmark in honor of the U.S. president's 50th birthday.

President Obama travels to his hometown of Chicago later Wednesday for events that include a gala fundraiser celebrating his birthday.

Some information for this report was provided Reuters.