President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Hello Sergei Ivanovich.
You cannot work on nothing but gas-related issues forever — it is possible to think about other things as well. The new year has arrived. In the near future a new administration headed by President of the United States Barack Obama will assume power. Of course we will watch developments very carefully. Naturally, we expect that with the advent of the new administration relations between our countries will develop accordingly. Precisely because in recent years our relations have been beset by a good many problems. We disagree on a number of issues, but in the present situation and in the modern world there are nevertheless things that substantially unite both of us.
At present, judging by the statements made by the President-elect and those who will form his administration, we perceive a desire to develop our relations and, incidentally, this was also reflected in the telephone conversation we had when I phoned to congratulate the new President of the United States of America. We would also like to see these relations evolve and develop intensively and constructively in all areas.
And if we talk about these areas, if we talk about the threats that exist in the world today, I can certainly identify a few fields where we simply must work together, and work together on a daily basis in a very constructive way. I have in mind the global financial crisis which today has unfortunately taken centre stage on the agenda of the governments of all developed nations. I would also mention the fight against terrorism and other threats such as organised crime and illegal drugs. Issues related to impeding the spread of weapons of mass destruction is another theme which has always been on the agenda of Russian-American relations and one where we have always worked together. And of course there are simply various issues in our bilateral relations, including questions of economic cooperation.
In recent years trade has increased quite a bit: it already amounts to several dozens of billions of dollars. And I hope that despite the crisis trade relations will develop for the benefit of our countries. Therefore we certainly would like to establish a strong, active relationship with the new American administration. I expect that we will be able to talk about this during our first meeting with the new President of the United States of America. Therefore as the Russian Ambassador I would like your work to focus primarily on these issues.
Russian Ambassador To the United States Sergei Kislyak: Thank you Dmitry Anatolyevich. Naturally we will work energetically on this. And I hope that in the coming months we will be able to determine how to formulate future policies and take concrete steps in this field.