Clinton to meet Medvedev for wide-ranging talks
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has invited U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to his private residence in suburban Barvikha for a discussion Tuesday of a broad range of issues in what one senior State Department official called a "relaxed setting", CNN reported.
Issues on the agenda for the two-hour meeting include the next steps on Iran, the Mideast conflict, cooperation on Afghanistan, possible joint work on a missile defense system, Russia's "neighborhood" and climate change.
Clinton also will meet with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, following up on many of the same issues, as well as getting progress reports on the new bilateral presidential commission they jointly chair. The commission, created by presidents Medvedev and Barack Obama during Obama's July visit to Moscow, has 16 working groups dealing with a number of aspects of the relationship, from arms control to health care.
A key issue during Clinton's two-day visit to Russia will be arms control and reaching an accord to replace the 1991 Start II arms control agreement, which expires in December.
Also at the top of the agenda are Iran and international efforts to induce Tehran to end its nuclear program. A senior administration official, briefing reporters on background because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the talks, said Clinton will speak with Medvedev and Lavrov "about what specific forms of pressure Russia would be prepared to join the U.S. and other nations in."