The two presidents discussed economic and security cooperation, prospects for Russia’s accession to the WTO, the upcoming NATO-Russia summit in Lisbon, and current international issues.
President of The United States of America Barack OBAMA: Let me just say it is wonderful once again to meet with my friend, Dmitry. I think we've built up an excellent relationship over the past two years, working on a whole range of issues. We had a very productive discussion here.
Obviously the focus of APEC and our previous meeting in Seoul at the G20 has been on international economic issues. And we stressed our interest in working with Russia on a range of bilateral and multilateral economic issues. I think that President Medvedev is doing an outstanding job trying to reform and move Russia forward on a whole range of economic issues, and we're working closely with them on Russia’s interest in potentially joining the WTO.
In addition, we spoke about a range of security issues. I reiterated my commitment to get the START Treaty done during the lame duck session, and I've communicated to Congress that it is a top priority. We also discussed the fact that President Medvedev is personally going to be attending the NATO summit in Lisbon, and it allows us to restart the NATO-Russia Council and host consultations so that we can reduce tensions and increase cooperation on various security matters in the European theater.
I want to again thank President Medvedev on his cooperation with respect to Afghanistan. There has been excellent transit cooperation in recent months and we think we can build on that in our discussions next week. And on a range of international issues and hotspots from Sudan to the Middle East, we think that Russia has been an excellent partner.
So we appreciate all the good work that President Medvedev and his team are doing, and I look forward to seeing him next week. Both he and I are racking up a lot of miles on our airplanes these days. But there’s a lot of work to do. And I’m glad to have him as an excellent partner on a whole range of these issues.
President of Russia Dmitry MEDVEDEV: I want to say what a pleasure it was to meet and discuss a whole range of bilateral and multilateral matters with my colleague, President of the United States of America Barack Obama.
We do indeed have very good relations and understand each other well. This is important for reaching agreement on many different issues, and we are never short of topics to address. We started with our bilateral relations. We have made serious progress of late on the subject of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.
I think that credit here goes to the President of the United States’ team, which has implemented all of the agreements reached during my visit to Washington. I hope that this process will continue and that Russia will join the WTO soon.
Regarding other topics, we reviewed regional issues of course, and international issues. One of the main subjects we spoke about was the meeting that will take place in Lisbon soon, where the upcoming NATO-Russia summit is to be held.
We see an improvement in relations between Russia and NATO, and this is useful for all sides. We are engaged in discussion on a number of matters now, including the idea of a European ABM system.
We exchanged views on what steps we think could be taken in this area, and agreed to instruct our aides and ministers to continue advancing in this direction. This is an issue that we will discuss at the summit itself too.
Besides, we have been cooperating productively within various regional forums, and in the G20, and will continue to do so, as this helps us to resolve international problems and achieve our goals, despite the substantial difficulties our economies still face.
I know that my friend Barack Obama is working on this day and night, and I wish him success in this endeavour, because the American economy’s health has such a major impact on the state of the global economy.
We addressed the main international challenges too, of course. They remain unchanged, and we agreed to continue coordinating our efforts in these areas. We will keep cooperating as closely and actively on these issues as we have been doing of late.