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Russia’s president joins the US presidential campaign

March 28, 2012, 11:45 UTC+3

This was a response to Romney’s statement that Russia is the US’ “number one geopolitical foe

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MOSCOW, March 28 (Itar-Tass) — The Kremlin has chosen clearly who to support during the US presidential election due in November, Russia’s newspapers write. Over the nuclear security summit in Seoul, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev recommended on Tuesday to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney “to use head and to follow watch.” This was a response to Romney’s statement that Russia is the US’ “number one geopolitical foe.”

The news conference, which Dmitry Medvedev organised in Seoul on Tuesday, was devoted to results of the Seoul nuclear security summit, however the main topics of the news conference were the US President Barack Obama and the Republican favourite presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the Kommersant writes. This may be explained by the scandalous news leak from the closed negotiations between Medvedev and Obama. The untimely audio broadcast let reporters hear how Barack Obama asked Dmitry Medvedev to ask Vladimir Putin not to force the anti-missile defence topic during the US presidential campaign and asked to settle the problem in 2013 – during his next term.

The passage, which flew across the world in an instant, provoked a scandal in the United States, the newspaper writes. Political competitors accused the US president of surrendering national interests in favour of Moscow. And presidential candidate Republican Mitt Romney even called Russian a “number one geopolitical foe.” “I always fear where somebody uses phrases like ‘number one foe’,” Medvedev called Romney’s statement. “It reminds me of Hollywood. I would recommend two things to all presidential candidates. While putting together a position, use the head – it is useful for a presidential candidate. And to follow time – we are in 2012 now, not in mid-70s.”

Director of the Institute of the US and Canada of Russia’s Academy of Sciences Sergei Rogov commented to the Nezavisimaya Gazeta the statements made by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, saying the discussion started on the evident background of the Russian-American relations and the American presidential rush. “The reloading has worked,” the scientist said. It has resulted in the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, in the agreement on peaceful use of nuclear energy, in Russia’s joining the WTO with the support from the US.

At the same time, here is a question about further agenda. Among topics for new agreements, Obama calls further reduction of nuclear armaments in both countries. For that, Rogov said, it would be necessary to settle the disputes on the European anti-missile system as far as Russia’s’ concern about its security is concerned. The two sides should discuss technologies which may be designed in future.

Rogov stressed it was really complicated to hold negotiations and to reach compromising agreements during the presidential fight in the US. Thus is the message, Obama forwards to Moscow, - to start negotiating after the election.

The Rossiiskaya Gazeta reports that Dmitry Medvedev had expressed his view on the anti-missile system. The dialogue would be continued within several coming months at the level of technical experts, the president said, mentioning the dialogue had two possible solutions. Either the parties agree, and Moscow receives guarantees the system is not aimed at it, or starts the scenario, where Russia is following suit. “I would not prefer this solution, though it is not close yet and a decision on it is due after 2015,” Medvedev said. “This solution is not favourable for anyone, as it would mean an arms race. Russia will continue the dialogue with the US.”

Together with presidents of Kazakhstan and the US, Dmitry Medvedev joined the Statement on cooperation at the former Semipalatinsk nuclear testing area, the Komsomolskaya Pravda reports. Since 2004, Russia, Kazakhstan and the US have been removing jointly the consequences of using the world’s biggest nuclear testing area, where 500 nuclear explosions had been organised, and where 1.5 million people suffered from radiation. Medvedev assured the testing area does not cause any threats now.

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