May 7th, 2009
04:33 PM ET
13 years ago

U.S. and Russia pledge to work past differences

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="The Obama Administration pledges to reset relationship with Russia."]

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.

Lavrov's visit comes amid recent tensions over NATO exercises in Georgia, which prompted Moscow to drop out of an upcoming NATO-Russia council meeting.

And earlier this week NATO revoked the credentials of two Russian diplomats posted to its headquarters in Brussels, after which Russia expelled two Moscow-based officials in retaliation.

The U.S. and Russia also disagree on how to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions. Lavrov Thursday reiterated Russia's opposition to U.S. and European Union sanctions against Iran, saying any measures should be coordinated through the U.N. Security Council.

Filed under: Obama administration • Russia
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Paul from Phoenix

    Putin is a snake. Do not trust Russia as long as he is in power.

    May 7, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Mike O'Brien

    I wouldn't 'trust' Russia one bit. Watch yourself, Obama. They are a tricky lot. Maybe, General George S. Patton was right about Russia. Mike in Montana

    May 7, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Kelby In Houston, TX

    I thought the Cold War was over? Who cares! If this is another step towards peace between our two countries I am all for it.

    Congrats to CNN Political ticker for winning that award

    May 7, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Maurice from Ontario

    Really important to just keep the discussions flowing. Focus on things we can agree on. Out of those discussions will come a better understanding of why there might be disagreements on other issues. And that's always much better than closing off discussions to start with!

    May 7, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  5. yuri

    And that's what we call an "A" grade performance for Hillary. Continue the crusade aginst enmity, hostility, distrust, and ambiguity among the domineerin' countries. Way to go Hillary!

    May 7, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Did Hillary try apologizing? That has worked well with all of the other foreigh relations problems the Obama administration cozies up to. The Castros, Ortega, France, Britain, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, N. Korea......And we pay these people to do this?

    May 7, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Thank you President Obama and Secratary Clinton for restoring America's "GOOD" name. I can only imagine if McCain was in office. He would start WW3. I love the smell of diplomacy.

    May 7, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Tulsa

    Thank God we are talking with these guys again. OK Republican posters, Ready, Shoot, AIM!!!!

    May 7, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  9. Shari, NY

    What a wonderful world it would be if the changing of the guard and ensuing policy adjustment translated into better unity among nations!

    May 7, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Sam Sixpack

    We shall one day soon all be comrades. Isn't that just precious?

    May 7, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. J.P.

    Look, he's displaying the POW handsign of "coercion."

    May 7, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. The Other Michael in Houston

    So no looking into his eyes and seeing his soul??????? Where are the dramatics. You Democrats are just so boring! Forget all that "smarty pants" talk about downsizing our nuc stockpile, forget all the "fancy smancy" talk about cooperating...............we the ignorant few want to know, Madam Secretary.....did you see his soul when you looked into his eyes???????

    May 7, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. phoenix86

    "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..."

    Uh, Madam Secretary, no one has ever said that.

    May 7, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is taking care of business no matter what anyone else thinks. Let's all move on.

    May 7, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. Mississippi Mike

    Russia is willing to give us all the lip service we want. If Hillary and Barack believe that Russia takes them seriously, they are wrong. Russia feared McCain and laugh at Obama. They've been waiting for a weak president and now that they have one they are going to take full advantage.

    May 7, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Tania

    Tread carefully. Russia is not a good place. The gov't (tsarist, communist, putinist - no matter) is totalitarian, cruel, greedy for neighboring land. Their history shows what they're capable of.

    May 7, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Gene

    I love how conservatives are just simply against cooperation with other countries to create a peaceful world.. it's almost as if they thrive on war and death.. the conservative humanitarian way.

    I know some will say it's liberal naivety to think there could be peace between our countries.. but the reality is, it has to start somewhere.. and it starts with the idea that there can be peace... as long as we keep demonizing each other.. there will never be any real relationship between our countries.

    May 7, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |

    Just imagine for a moment the powerhouse a common-ground US/Russian coalition would be for world peace and world economic progress.

    May 7, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. Dan, TX

    Who should fear Iranian nukes more, Washington or Moscow.

    May 7, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. rachel

    Go Hillary, make Barack and you look good.

    May 7, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Veronica

    Wonder if SOS Clinton looked into Lavrov's eyes and 'saw his soul.' LOL

    Good news, no doubt, but I'll do the happy dance when I start seeing results.

    May 7, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Dylan from MN

    Working towards peace between ALL countries is the goal, any step toward that goal is a step in the right direction. We need to abondon our fear and paranoia of the world, that will only leave us paralyzed.

    May 7, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. troubled

    Hillary is doing an outstanding job! Just think what could have been accomplished had she been elected president!

    Obammy has made a bigger mess in 90 days than Bush did in 8 years. Of course, the "demon-cratic" congress has done nothing the past 2.5 years, either.

    May 7, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Reagan had it right when he said 'trust but verify'. Russia says they want better relations? Let them start by allowing Georgia and Ukraine join NATO.

    May 7, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. Linda

    What creditability that Hillary Clinton had, was all taken away when she lied about being shot at in Bosnia. Does anyone not think that if you lie about one thing, you will lie about another thing? You cannot trust a liar and Hillary LIED. Please do not label me as a Republican, I am neither that or Democrat. I use my own common sense and do not have to depend on anyone to tell me what to think. When I heard her lie, I thought "Why would anyone trust her after this?" She said later that she misspoke–who in the world would ever forget that they were being shot at???? So anything that she is saying to other countries, need to be taken with a grain of salf.

    May 7, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |