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Obama, Medvedev vow to broaden bilateral cooperation

06-25-2010 10:22 BJT

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday agreed to reset and broaden bilateral relationship through "non-security" cooperation, in an effort to promote common prosperity for both people.

U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and his visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attend a joint press conference after their meeting at the East Room of the White House in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, June 24, 2010.(Xinhua/Zhang Jun) 
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) and his visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev 
attend a joint press conference after their meeting at the East Room of the White House 
in Washington D.C., capital of the United States, June 24, 2010.(Xinhua/Zhang Jun)

To reset and broaden the U.S.-Russia relationship is "the real focus of our work today and of President Medvedev's visit, 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," Obama told a joint press conference with Medvedev after their meeting in the White House.

"It has to be about our shared prosperity and what we can build together," said the president.

During the meeting, the two leaders, just as they did in the past meetings, discussed their common concerns over security, including nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, Russia's relations with its European neighbors, U.S. missile defense plan in Europe, situation in Kyrgyzstan, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula.

But the top priority for the summit was economy. As the Kremlin expected, the U.S. president after the summit reaffirmed "strong commitment to Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization ( WTO) and vowed to speed up his administration's efforts to complete relative process as soon as possible.

"Russia belongs in the WTO. That's good for Russia, it's good for America, and it's good for the world economy," said Obama.

"We are going to do everything we can to get this done as quickly as possible, and we will be very specific and very clear about the technical issues that Russia still faces, and Russia then will act in accordance with its needs and requirements internally to meet the demands of the WTO in order to get this done," said Obama.

Russia, the biggest economy outside the WTO, has been seeking membership in the 153-nation World Trade Organization for 17 years. Its bid for joining into the organization has long been seen as one of major tests for U.S.-Russian relations.

"I'm confident that we can get this completed. And I am confident that President Medvedev and his vision for an innovative, modernized, energized economy are entirely consistent with Russia' s joining the WTO," said Obama. He also announced that the two governments have reached an agreement that will allow the United States to begin exporting poultry products to Russia once again.

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