President Dmitry Medvedev says Russians are ready to "play our part" in rebuilding relations with the United States. US President Barack Obama arrives Monday in Moscow for talks on nuclear disarmament and a US missile defence system in Europe.
AFP - Russia is ready to build effective relations with the United States in response to US President Barack Obama's willingness to improve ties, President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.
"The new administration headed by President Obama is showing its willingness to change the situation and build more effective, reliable, and ultimately more modern relations," Medvedev said.
"We are ready to play our part," he added, speaking in a video address posted on the Kremlin website.
Obama arrives in Moscow on Monday in a bid to "reset" US-Russian relations which were badly strained under the administration of his predecessor, George W. Bush, amid a range of disputes.
The US president is to hold talks with Medvedev on topics including nuclear disarmament and a bitter disagreement over US plans to place missile defence facilities in eastern Europe, which Russia opposes.
The two leaders are also expected to discuss Iran and Afghanistan, and media reports have said that Russia could agree to boost the transit across its territory of US supplies bound for the war in Afghanistan.
Medvedev said a "crisis in confidence" had arisen in US-Russian ties, but noted there were many potential areas of cooperation between the two countries such as anti-terrorism and halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
"I hope that my American colleague and I will hold substantial and full-fledged talks that will produce real results," Medvedev said.
The Russian leader also extended a welcome to Obama's family: "I hope that President Obama’s visit will give him, his family, and his team the chance to get to know Russia better."
Obama's trip next week, which runs Monday to Wednesday, will be his first visit to Russia since his inauguration in January, though he previously met Medvedev on the sidelines of the G20 summit in London in April.
At the London meeting, Obama and Medvedev pledged to seek a successor agreement to the landmark Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by the time it expires in December.
A senior Russian diplomat, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, said on Wednesday that talks on START were going better than initially expected.
Date created : 2009-07-02