President of The United States Barack Obama: Obviously our main concern in coming to Copenhagen was to try to move forward with an accord on the issue of climate change. But on the margins of this meeting we thought it was important to continue to build on the excellent relationship that our two governments have developed over the last several months.
Our main focus today was the START treaty – the new START treaty that we have been negotiating. We've been making excellent progress. We are quite close to an agreement. And I'm confident that it will be completed in a timely fashion. And I just want to thank President Medvedev for being a very effective partner in these negotiations.
And we wish him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: As an effective partner I, in turn, would like to thank President Obama, but using different words, as is customary in diplomatic practice.
It is true that we did not come to Copenhagen to have a bilateral meeting; rather, we came here to move forward in reaching an agreement on climate-related matters. And in this regard, our work is not yet finished. But at the same time, it would be a sin not to use this opportunity to discuss a topic that we have been working on recently, quite effectively and harmoniously.
I would like to thank President Obama and all the negotiators involved in developing the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty from the American side.
Our positions are very close, and we are now in agreement on nearly all the issues we have been discussing in recent months. We still need to negotiate a few technical details, which must be fully clarified in such an important treaty. I hope that we will be able to do this fairly quickly, and that the results we reach will reflect the partnership and close relations that we have established with the new U.S. administration.
I would say, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!