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Medvedev Upbeat on Ties With U.S.

Published: March 24, 2009 (Issue # 1459)


MOSCOW Some of the biggest names in U.S. diplomacy of the past decades met with President Dmitry Medvedev and other Kremlin leaders Friday in an effort to improve frosty relations that experts say could threaten many U.S. foreign policy goals.

In some of his most upbeat comments about U.S. relations since President Barack Obama took office, Medvedev said his meetings with current and former U.S. officials in recent weeks reflect the goal of our nations to significantly improve ties.

After greeting a delegation led by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Medvedev praised the U.S. initiative, first announced by Vice President Joe Biden, to press the reset button on U.S.-Russia relations.

The surprising term reset ... really reflects the essence of the changes we would like to see, Medvedev said. We are counting on a reset. I hope it will take place.

Kissinger, an architect of U.S. Cold War strategy toward the Soviet Union, said he and a group including former Secretary of State George Shultz and former Senator Sam Nunn had discussed energy and other strategic issues with Medvedev. Im happy to report that the differences were not so remarkable and the agreements were considerable, Kissinger said.

Kissinger also told Medvedev that the U.S. group hoped that his April meeting with Obama on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting in London would help improve ties. We believe in the generally optimistic attitude, and we hope ... that the meeting between you and our president will begin a new period in our relationship and will lead to concrete results, Kissinger said.

Kissinger also met privately with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday, in a meeting shown briefly on state-run television.

Experts say chilly bilateral relations have complicated efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, ease tensions in Eastern Europe and expand the war in Afghanistan. Kissingers group has pushed for drastic reductions in global nuclear arsenals. And reviving talks on limits to nuclear arms, especially START I, which expires in December, is at the top of the U.S. agenda.

But the broader aim appears to be repairing the damage to relations over the past eight years between Washington and Moscow, which are at their lowest point since the early 1980s a point highlighted by both Russian and U.S. officials in Moscow.

I see we are in a race between cooperation and catastrophe, Nunn told reporters at a briefing attended by the other Americans as well as Russian officials former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov and former Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

We are certain that the low point of this period of chill in our relations is behind us, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters Friday. The reset ... has really begun.

While the Kremlin has welcomed the U.S. initiatives, it has also sent signals that it is up to Washington to make concessions, not Moscow, if relations are to improve.

Ryabkov expressed confidence that Moscow and Washington can resolve deep differences over the proposed U.S. missile defense facilities in Central Europe and forge a new treaty to replace START.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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