Medvedev to discuss Russia's WTO bid, arms cuts treaty ratification with Obama

© RIA Novosti . Sergey Guneev / Go to the photo bankDmitry Medvedev, Barack Obama
Dmitry Medvedev, Barack Obama - Sputnik International
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama will discuss Russia's accession to the WTO, the ratification of the new arms cuts treaty and nuclear non-proliferation, as well as key international and regional issues on Thursday, a Kremlin aide has said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama will discuss Russia's accession to the WTO, the ratification of the new arms cuts treaty and nuclear non-proliferation, as well as key international and regional issues on Thursday, a Kremlin aide has said.

Medvedev will fly to Washington for a three-day visit later on Tuesday.

"Medvedev will hold full-scale talks with Obama on a wide range of relevant bilateral and major international issues in Washington on June 24," Sergei Prikhodko told reporters in Moscow.

He said a report by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who coordinate the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission, was expected to be presented to the presidents during the talks.

The commission, intended to improve cooperation between the two countries, was created in July 2009, during Obama's visit to Moscow.

Prikhodko said the Russian and U.S. presidents were expected to discuss the development of bilateral trade and economic relations, which should be imparted a "strategic character."

"A special interest is a possibility of uniting the U.S. potential in the scientific and research spheres with opportunities of its use on the Russian market within mutually beneficial commercial and other projects, including the U.S. participation in the creation of an innovation center in Skolkovo," the Kremlin aid said.

Medvedev, who seeks to diversify the Russian economy by reducing its dependence on oil and gas exports, has made developing hi-tech sectors and encouraging research the focal point of his economic agenda. He is now pressing ahead with the creation of a national hi-tech research hub in Moscow suburb Skolkovo, dubbed by the media as the Russian Silicon valley.

Earlier, Medvedev's top economic aide Arkady Dvorkovich said the president would begin his trip to the United States with visits to Silicon Valley and Standord University.

Prikhodko said the diversification of trade between Russia and the United States should accompany the improved Russian-U.S. political and military cooperation.

Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization will be among the key issues during the talks, he said. The country has been in negotiations to enter the WTO for over 16 years, and is the only major economy outside of the global trade body.

"We sincerely consider that the pace of the talks' conclusion and [Russia's] accession [to the WTO] significantly depends on the Americans," he said, adding that Moscow would like Washington to clarify its position on the issue.

Medvedev and Obama will also discuss the ratification of the new arms reduction treaty signed by the two presidents in Prague on April 8.

The new START treaty replaced the 1991 pact that expired in December and is expected to bring Moscow and Washington to a new level of cooperation in the field of nuclear disarmament and arms control.

The U.S. and Russian presidents have agreed that the ratification processes should be simultaneous.

Medvedev and Obama are also expected to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula, in the Middle East, as well as in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, Prikhodko said.

 

MOSOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti)

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