Obama, Medvedev strike casual poses 

Meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, President Obama joked that their old, Cold War-era red telephones could be replaced by Twitter accounts.

It was an apt analogy as the two superpowers look to modernize their relationship, and Medvedev works to fashion a version of Silicon Valley in Russia.

"Our two countries continue to disagree on certain issues, such as Georgia, and we addressed those differences candidly," Obama said. "But by moving forward in areas where we do agree, we have succeeded in resetting our relationship, which benefits regional and global security."

The leaders' day was highlighted by birds, Boeings and burgers: a deal to lift a ban on exports of U.S. poultry to Russia, an agreement from Medvedev to buy 50 new airplanes, and a trip to Ray's Hell Burger in an Arlington strip mall for lunch.

"Today I have managed to dine with President Barack Obama, an interesting place, which is typically American," Medvedev said of the president's favorite burger joint. "Probably it's not quite healthy, but it's very tasty, and you can feel the spirit of America. But this is not the main thing we were engaged in."

Medvedev arrived in Washington after a tour of California's Silicon Valley. The Russian president, who visited the Google and Twitter headquarters, is hoping to lure high-tech investment to Russia.

By modernizing and diversifying the Russian economy, Medvedev wants to reduce his country's reliance on the oil and gas industry -- and lure international investment to the Moscow suburbs.

"The decisions of major companies to come to Russia with such investment, all this inspires us and shows that we can agree not only on missiles," Medvedev said through a translator.

To make investment in Russia more appealing, Medvedev is also demonstrating a new interest in democratic reform, human rights and fighting corruption.

"We are ready for that now," Medvedev said of a transition from focusing on arms and security to economic cooperation with the United States. "Our American partners are ready for the same thing."

Thursday marked the seventh meeting between Obama and Medvedev since the former took office. The two head to Canada this weekend for the Group of 20 world leaders summit.

Though areas of mistrust remain -- notably, on Iran and North Korea -- the two leaders were eager to tout progress on arms reduction, trade and economic development.

Of keen interest to both is what Obama calls a "reset" of relations, following a souring between the two nations when Russia invaded Georgia toward the end of the Bush administration.

Obama called his Russian counterpart "my friend and partner," while Medvedev waxed sentimental about "an interesting event in my life" earlier this week.

"I visited the Stanford University, which is a well-known university with special climate, and I was enjoying walking and strolling around Stanford without necktie or any suit, in jeans, which was a pleasure for those people who occupy high posts," Medvedev said.

After a joint press availabiilty at the White House, the two leaders doffed their suit jackets and strolled across Lafayette Square for an event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


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