WASHINGTON (CNN) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday the United States rejects any desire by Russia to exert its influence over Eastern Europe similarly to the Soviet Union of the past.
Responding to reported comments by Vice President Joe Biden that Russia was "clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable," Clinton told the NBC program "Meet the Press" that the United States wants Russia to play a positive role in international relations.
"We view Russia as a great power," Clinton said. "Every country faces challenges. We have challenges, Russia has challenges."
However, she said, the old ways are over.
"We are very clearly not saying that Russia can have a 21st century sphere of influence in Eastern Europe," Clinton said, calling that a "policy we reject."
Every Eastern European country has the right to join any alliance it wants, she said, referring to Russia's objections to former satellites such as Georgia trying to join NATO.
Addressing an audience including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and graduates at a Moscow business school, Obama said Washington wants to work in partnership with a "strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia."
"This belief is rooted in our respect for the Russian people, and a shared history between our nations that goes beyond competition," he said.
On Monday, Obama met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and concluded a series of agreements - including one on nuclear arms reduction - as part of an effort to strengthen ties between the former Cold War rivals.
The two-day summit in Moscow was needed to help "reset" a relationship that, according to Obama, "has suffered from a sense of drift" in recent years.
The president reiterated that in his speech Tuesday.
"This must be more than a fresh start between the Kremlin and the White House, though that is important. ... It must be a sustained effort among the American and Russian people to identify mutual interests, and to expand dialogue and cooperation that can pave the way to progress."
The deal will allow the United States to transport personnel and equipment across Russian territory to supply U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan.
"This is a substantial contribution by Russia to our international effort, and it will save the United States time and resources in giving our troops the support that they need," Obama said at a news conference with Medvedev.
MOSCOW, Russia - President Obama arrived in Moscow on Monday for a summit with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev aimed at trying to "reset" the U.S.-Russian relationship. But he also may have a less publicized goal: figuring out who's really in charge here.
When Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, engaged in his first summit with his Russian counterpart, things took an odd turn. Bush said - now infamously - that he looked into then-President Vladimir Putin's eyes and saw into his soul, and basically found he was a good guy that Americans could do business with. Oops. The Bush-Putin relationship ended up getting pretty chilly, which is why the new U.S. president is now trying to warm things up.
Obama gets his first shot at literally looking into Putin's eyes Tuesday, when he has a sitdown with the man who is now prime minister of Russia, a post that many international analysts believe allows Putin to continue to pull the strings behind the scenes.
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) - Russian and U.S. nuclear negotiators have completed a joint statement on the framework for a new arms control agreement to replace the 1991 START I agreement which expires December 5.
A U.S. source close to the American side tells CNN that Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev will discuss the joint statement at their Monday meetings in Moscow and are expected to announce and sign it at their joint press conference Monday afternoon.
MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) – Russia will allow the United States to ship weapons across its air space to Afghanistan, Kremlin spokesman Alex Pavlov said Friday.
Pavlov said he doesn't know when the policy will take effect, but imagines the details will come out when presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev meet Monday and Tuesday in Moscow.
A senior official in the Obama administration told CNN the men are expected to sign an agreement to allow the transit of U.S. military equipment to Afghanistan for use in American military operations.
The two countries already have an agreement allowing rail transportation of non-lethal supplies across Russian territory.
On Thursday, Medvedev said Obama's new administration has shown a willingness to "build more effective, reliable, and ultimately more modern relations. We are ready to play our part."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The United States and Russia pledged Thursday not to let differences on issues such as Georgia prevent stronger ties and cooperation on nuclear reductions, proliferation and Iran.
"It is old thinking to say that we have a disagreement in one area and therefore we shouldn't work in something else that is overwhelmingly important," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after a meeting with
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
"We want to normalize the relationship and raise it to a new level," Clinton said.
Lavrov added that reducing both countries' nuclear stockpiles was "too important both for Russia and the United States and the rest of the world to hold hostage."
The two met to further negotiations on a nuclear reduction treaty to replace the 1991 START treaty, which expires at the end of this year, and in advance of a summit between President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitri Medvedev in July. Last month in London the two leaders agreed to cooperate on arms control, nuclear proliferation and Iran.
(CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden will meet with former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev Friday at the White House.
In a visit last week to London's Evening Standard, Gorbachev praised President Barack Obama, but issued strong criticism of the United States' foreign policy.
"One day it [the U.S.] will have to stop giving orders and stop trying to tell the whole world how it should act," said President Gorbachev. "And its military must try to act within this new order, so that when all the countries of the United Nation propose solutions together, their decisions will be brought to life."
The meeting between the vice president and former Soviet leader comes as Russia approaches of the 20th anniversary the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Gorbachev spoke at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington Thursday, participating in a discussion about the legal development of the Russian constitution.