The Medvedev-Bush talks were the first of the Russian President’s planned bilateral meetings at the G8 summit.
Mr Medvedev and Mr Bush discussed missile defence, European security and problems in Russian-US trade relations.
President Medvedev said he hoped to negotiate all issues with the incumbent and future US administrations, listing European security and the missile defence problem as among the most involved issues.
Mr Medvedev said the sides had not made any headway on missile defence. The United States is planning to deploy ten missile interceptors in Poland and an early-warning radar in the Czech Republic, ostensibly to guard against a possible Iranian threat. Russia fears that such systems could jeopardise its security. President Medvedev voiced serious concerns in connection with media reports about US-Lithuanian talks on deploying missile-interceptor bases in that Baltic state.
President Medvedev continued to promote the initiative he announced on June 5 in Berlin, reaffirming Moscow’s readiness to hold consultations on a Europe-wide security treaty that would tackle all security and arms control issues in the region as a single whole.
Both leaders also discussed the Iranian nuclear programme. The Russian side positively assessed the latest trip by Javier Solana, the European Union’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, to Tehran. President Medvedev said he was ready to closely cooperate with all partners, including US partners, in order to find the required solutions, and that Russia would encourage direct dialogue with Tehran in every possible way and was awaiting the relevant messages from Iran’s leaders.
The US President inquired about Russian-Georgian relations. President Medvedev discussed his recent contacts with President Mikhail Saakashvili, including their July 5 meeting in Astana, which was celebrating its 10th anniversary. President Medvedev said Russia wanted to normalise relations but did not perceive sufficient will on Georgia’s part. Nevertheless, the Russian leader shared some proposals with President Bush, saying they could reduce tensions if Georgia reacted positively to them.
The United States has so far failed to abolish the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and to grant most-favoured nation status to Russia on a permanent basis. The abolition of the amendment and other discriminatory restrictions would allow both countries to apply World Trade Organisation regulations in their bilateral trade relations.
President Medvedev wished President Bush a happy birthday, which he celebrated on July 6.
Alexei Gromov, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office, presidential aides Sergei Prikhodko and Arkady Dvorkovich and Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak also took part in the talks at Windsor Hotel, the residence of heads of state and government who have arrived for the G8 summit.