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Presidents Medvedev and Obama develop bilateral relations in Deauville

Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obama discussed the development of bilateral relations and the implementation of the New START Treaty, as well as the prospects for deploying a missile defence system, Russia's WTO accession and the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.

Following the meeting, the two leaders adopted statements on joint efforts to simplify the visa regime and in the fight against terrorism, as well as on cooperation in the Bering Strait.

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES BARACK OBAMA: Let me just make a brief statement. It is good once again to see my friend and partner, Dmitry Medvedev. Over the past two years, I think that we have built an outstanding relationship and, as a consequence, we’ve been able to reset relations between the United States and Russia in a way that is good for the security and the prosperity of both of our countries.

We’re implementing the New START Treaty. We’re cooperating on nonproliferation, on nuclear security, on intelligence and counterterrorism. We’re enforcing strong sanctions on Iran, and we’re cooperating on Afghanistan, where Russia has been very helpful in establishing supply lines for our troops there.

But our cooperation has extended beyond the security areas, and much of our discussion today revolved around economics. We’re pleased that we’ve established working groups around issues of rule of law and innovation, both of which are key priorities of President Medvedev as he continues to modernise the Russian economy. And our teams have been working intensively around the issue of Russian accession to the WTO.

We think that Russian accession to the WTO will be good for the Russian economy, will be good for the US economy, and will be good for the world economy, and we are confident that we can get this done. It will be a key building block in expanding trade and commerce that create jobs and benefit both countries.

We also discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, and shared our ideas about how we can manage the transition process that’s taking place throughout the region in a way that enhances prosperity and opportunity for people there and ensures stability and resolves conflicts in a peaceful way.

Finally, we continued our discussions around the issue of missile defense and we are committed to working together so that we can find an approach and configuration that is consistent with the security needs of both countries, that maintains the strategic balance, and deals with potential threats that we both share.

We look forward to obviously additional discussions with the Russian President in the G8 process around the world economy, world finances, issues like nuclear security.

But I just want to emphasise that my interactions with President Medvedev have always been excellent. I think that he is doing fine work in moving Russia forward on a whole range of issues, and I appreciate the excellent cooperation that’s been established between our governments.

And so, Dmitry, it’s good to see you again, and I look forward to our work over the next day and a half.

PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA DMITRY MEDVEDEV: My counterpart and political partner, Barack Obama, has just precisely covered the subjects we discussed during our meeting today, but I would like to also note that I am truly satisfied with our personal relationship that helps us advance the interstate relations between Russia and the United States.

I believe that over the last several years, we have really done a lot to reform our relations, and we stand high chances to continue this positive trend and develop it further on. It requires major effort, and it requires continuing in the same direction and vein as is the case between the two Presidents at the moment.

It does not mean that we now have identical views on all the topics. It’s impossible, and I believe that it’s not even worth trying. Each and every country is sure to always have its own national priorities and interests, but a lot depends on our relations too. As far as the strategic balance of forces in the world is concerned, in my view, we have succeeded in maintaining this balance in place and in improving it through the New START Treaty.

Today we talked about how to advance the positive process and how to build up our cooperation on most sensitive matters, including anti-missile defense. I have told my counterpart, Barack Obama, that this issue is likely to be finally solved in the future, like, for example, in the year 2020, but nevertheless we, at present, must lay adequate foundation for the cooperation of the new generations of politicians to come and thus lay a sound foundation for the future cooperation between our two countries. We will certainly pursue this track, but due political impetus are necessary.

We discussed the situation in the Middle East and North Africa and will continue the discussions, especially within the G20 framework. Besides, we reviewed the prospects for settling the Iran issue.

We also spoke about the need to expand economic cooperation between our countries and step up Russia’s WTO accession. I hope we’ll be able to conclude this process finally, but that will require relevant effort, hence we agreed to instruct our teams respectively following our talks.

I would like to once again emphasise that I’m quite satisfied with the way our personal relationship develops and hope it will have a positive impact on the relations between our two countries.

There is still much to be accomplished.

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