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Official website of the President of Russia

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Dmitry Medvedev met with delegates at the Russian-American Public Dialogue Group, Russia-USA: A Look into the Future.

March 20, 2009, The Kremlin, Moscow

The Russian-American Public Dialogue Group, Russia-USA: A Look into the Future, held its latest meeting in the run-up to the first meeting between President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and President of the United States Barack Obama, which will take place at the start of April as part of the G20 summit in London. On the Russian side, the group is headed by Yevgeny Primakov, and on the American side, by Henry Kissinger.


President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: I will begin in Russian, if you do not mind.

American and Russian colleagues! I am happy to welcome you to the Kremlin, and I am happy that the Russian-American Public Dialogue Group, Russia-USA: A Look into the Future continues its work. Despite some difficulties in previous times, I feel that today, both our countries are interested in this work. This is already my second meeting with the reputable American representatives in the last two weeks, and it reflects the determination of our governments to significantly improve our relations.

I will not hide the fact that I am looking forward to my first meeting with President of the United States Barack Obama, and I count on it not only being an introduction, but also a real exchange of opinions regarding all issues concerning Russian-American relations and all the most relevant issues on the international agenda.

I think that many topics for discussion have accumulated in recent times, in addition to the traditional agenda, which has remained, remains, and will probably continue to remain focused on the most relevant problems of our relations. But it is also imperative that we exchange views on the most difficult issues. In any case, a certain term that was used after the meeting between Mr Lavrov and Ms Hillary Clinton, the term “rebooting,” has been floating around in nearly all analytical comments on Russian-American relations. I hope it will realistically reflect the transformations that we would all like to see. We are counting on this kind of “rebooting.” I hope that it will happen.

Once again, I am happy to welcome you here. I hope that we will now share our impressions on how things stand.

Thank you. If anyone would like to say something, go ahead.

Co-chairman of the Russian-American Public Dialogue Group Russia-Usa: A LOOK INTO THE FUTURE HENRY KISSINGER: First of all, let me thank you on behalf of my colleagues for the very warm reception we have had in Russia and for your great courtesy in receiving us. We are a bipartisan group of individuals who have served under both Republican and Democratic administrations. But we are united in our commitment to the improvement of relations between Russia and the United States, because we are convinced that this is in the common interest of our peoples and in the common interests of the world. We have had two days of discussions here in which each of us presented frankly our varied views.

I am happy to report that the differences were not insurmountable, and the agreements were considerable. We discussed strategic issues and various issues around the world, energy, and troubled areas. And so, I think I speak for my colleagues when I say that we leave in rather generally optimistic attitude, and with the hope and, actually, expectation that the meetings between you and our president will begin a new period in our relationship and will lead to concrete results.

We think we have had a very useful time here, thanks to the careful preparations that were made by Mr. Primakov [Co-Chairman of the Russian-American Public Dialogue Group, Russia-USA: A Look into the Future], the hospitality of the Foreign Minister, and many fruitful discussions we have had.

March 20, 2009, The Kremlin, Moscow