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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Medvedev says hopes for 'reset' in relations with U.S.

RIA Novosti

20/03/2009 15:46 MOSCOW, March 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday he hoped for a real fresh start in relations with Washington after his first meeting with the new U.S. leader on April 1.

Medvedev and Barack Obama are expected to meet in London a day before G20 leaders meet to discuss ways of tackling the global economic slump.

"We are counting on such a 'reset' and hope it will take place," Medvedev told a Russian-U.S. panel in the Kremlin, referring to the "symbolic" term used at a meeting between both countries' foreign ministers earlier this month.

Relations between Russia and the United States have been strained over Washington's plans to deploy missile bases in Europe, NATO's expansion, and last year's war in Georgia.

Russia has expressed hope for improved ties with Obama, who has said he may put the missile shield plans on hold. Russia and the U.S. earlier agreed to start talks on a new version of the START nuclear arms reduction treaty, which expires in December.

"I hope this will be an extensive exchange of ideas on the entire agenda of Russian-American relations and sensitive international issues," Medvedev told the Russia-USA: A Look into the Future group co-chaired by Henry A. Kissinger, the former U.S. secretary of state.

Earlier this month, Medvedev received a delegation of former U.S. senators, members of a bipartisan commission on U.S.-Russia relations which was to make a report on their visit to Obama ahead of his meeting with the Russian leader.

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