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By Samuel R. Avro on Feb 11, 2009 with no responses

Medvedev Willing to Cooperate with U.S. on Nuclear Issues

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, is signaling interest in restarting relations with the United States.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is interested in close cooperation with the the United States, including disarmament issues, said a Kremlin spokeswoman.

“Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is ready for thorough and joint work on the entire agenda of bilateral cooperation, including on disarmament issues.

“What we’ve heard lately from representatives of the new U.S. administration with regard to the future of Russian-American relations has received a positive reaction in the Kremlin,” she said.

U.S. President Barack Obama, and his Vice-President, Joe Biden, have made it clears that their administration considers U.S.-Russia relations to be extremely important.

They have both talked of ‘resetting’ relations with Russia and starting anew.

Moscow and Washington agreed in 2002 to cut strategic nuclear warheads to 1,700-2,200 by the end of 2012, and reports say a new treaty could bring the totals on each side down to 1,000.

U.S.-Russia relations had taken a turn for the worse under the Bush administration, especially after the Russian-Georgian war which took place last year. The U.S. publicly voiced it’s support for Georgia and criticized Russia during, and after, the war.

Russia also sparred with the United States over Georgia and Ukraine joining NATO, which the U.S. was in support of.

Washington and Moscow have also clashed on the issue of bringing a missile defense shield to Europe.

Obama vowed on Monday to prevent nuclear proliferation during his presidency and urged the United States and Russia to lead the way.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, met with Biden last week in Munich at a security conference, where he also expressed his desire to restart talks.

After meeting with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, Biden was asked if the U.S. remains in support of Georgia entering NATO. “I’m in favor of Georgia’s continued independence and autonomy,” he said. “That’s a decision for Georgia to make.”

The European missile defense and NATO issues are sure to be a thorn in the side toward renewing relations. The two countries will need to come to some sort of an understanding between themselves before embarking on a path of better relations.