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Obama, Medvedev start 'reset' meeting, focus on nuclear talks


LONDON, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev met for the first time on Wednesday in London where they are expected to announce the restart of talks on a new nuclear arms reduction treaty.

The two leaders will try to "press the reset button" on bilateral relations, plans earlier announced by the Obama administration, ahead of a G20 summit to tackle the ongoing global economic crisis in London on Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference ahead of the meeting, Obama acknowledged differences between the United States and Russia, but said the two countries could focus on areas of mutual interest. He said nuclear weapons that could fall into the hands of terrorists "continues to be the greatest threat against humanity."

Washington and Moscow are expected to sign a treaty to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which limits their nuclear arsenals. The treaty expires in December.

Ties between Washington and Moscow have plunged to a Cold War low in recent years, but Obama has announced plans to review them. The two nations have been at odds over NATO's eastward expansion, Washington's plans for a missile shield in Central Europe and last August's war between Russia and Georgia.

Obama has shown less interest in the missile shield plans pushed forward by his predecessor, George W. Bush, which have outraged Russia.

Obama said he and Medvedev would also discuss ways to stabilize the global economy and financial markets, protectionism in trade and climate change, and international conflicts, i.e. the issues on the agenda of the summit of the G20 world leaders.

Russia earlier put forward a proposal for the summit to examine the possibility of creating a supranational reserve currency and prompting national banks and international financial institutions to diversify their foreign currency reserves.

Obama, however, said he saw no need for the creation of a new global reserve currency.

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