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Entries in Dmitry Medvedev (3)

Tuesday
Mar272012

Obama Responds to Open-Mic Incident, Jokes ‘Are The Mics On?’

KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- President Obama offered his explanation Tuesday for the hot-mic moment that caught him asking the Russian president for “flexibility” and “space” on missile defense until after November’s election, saying “this is not a matter of hiding the ball.”

“The only way I get this stuff done is if I’m consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I’ve got bipartisan support and frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations,” Obama told reporters following a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.  “I think the stories you guys have been writing over the last 24 hours is pretty good evidence of that.”

Reporters at the Nuclear Security Summit overheard Obama asking Medvedev on Monday to tell incoming President Vladimir Putin “on all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.”

“This is my last election.  After my election I have more flexibility,” he added.

On Tuesday, Obama stressed that his remarks reflect the political climate.

“Arms control is extraordinarily complex, very technical, and the only way it gets done is if you can consult and build a strong understanding, both between countries and within countries,” he said.  “I don’t think it’s any surprise that you can’t start that a few months before presidential and congressional elections in the United States, and at a time when they just completed elections in Russia, and they’re in the process of a presidential transition where a new president’s going to be coming in a little less than two months.”

While his conversation with Medvedev was intended to be private, Obama said it was not “a matter of hiding the ball.”

“I’m on record,” the president said of wanting to reduce nuclear stockpiles.  “I want to see us over time gradually, systematically reduce reliance on nuclear weapons.”

Obama’s comments on Tuesday came after Republicans pounced on the open-mic incident.

“When the president of the United States is speaking with the leader of Russia saying he can be more flexible after the election, that is an alarming and troubling development,” Republican front-runner Mitt Romney said.  “This is no time for our president to be pulling his punches with the American people.  And not telling us what he’s intending to do with regards to our missile defense system, with regards to our military might and with regards to our commitment to Israel and with regard to our absolute conviction that Iran must have a nuclear weapon.”

Obama does seem to have a sense of humor about the incident.  Before responding to a reporter’s question about his comments, the president jokingly asked, “First of all, are the mics on?”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar272012

White House Dings Romney for Saying Russia Is Top Geopolitical Foe

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- White House press secretary Jay Carney on Tuesday took issue with comments from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stating that Russia was America’s “number one geopolitical foe.”

Carney, a former Moscow-based correspondent for TIME magazine, stated that “in a world where al Qaeda is so clearly the preeminent threat to the United States, and similar organizations, it seems a little inaccurate to make that statement about Russia where Russia is a county that we have been able to cooperate with on very important issues even as we disagree with them on others and that includes missile defense and Syria.”

Romney had been responding to the comments President Obama made on Monday to outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, unaware that a microphone was making the private remarks quite public.

On issues, “particularly missile defense,” Obama told Medvedev that incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needed to give him “space.”

“This is my last election.  After my election I have more flexibility,” the president said.

Medvedev said he would “transmit the information to Vladimir.”

Appearing on CNN, Romney said Russia “is without question our number one geopolitical foe.  They fight every cause for the world’s worst actors.  The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very very troubling indeed.”

He noted that “Russia continues to support Syria, supports Iran, has fought us with crippling sanctions we wanted to have the world put in place against Iran.  Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage and for this president to be looking for greater flexibility where he doesn’t have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia is very very troubling, very alarming.  This is a president who is telling us one thing and is doing something else.”

Carney said “the relationship that president Obama has established with Russia when he pressed the reset button in 2009 has born a great deal of fruit, including Russia’s cooperation with China at the United Nations in sanctioning Iran, Russia’s cooperation and assistance to the United States on our Afghanistan mission in terms of trans-shipment issues.”

On Tuesday, Obama responded to a question about what he meant by his open microphone comment, saying, “The only way I get this stuff done is if I’m consulting with the Pentagon, with Congress, if I’ve got bipartisan support and frankly, the current environment is not conducive to those kinds of thoughtful consultations.  I think the stories you guys have been writing over the last 24 hours is pretty good evidence of that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec232010

Obama, Medvedev Celebrate Successful Year in U.S.-Russia Relations

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) –President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoke by phone Thursday to discuss the new START treaty and to celebrate a productive year in U.S.-Russia relations.

In what the two sides called an historic event, President Medvedev congratulated Obama on the Senate’s approval of the treaty according to White House press release.

The sides also pledged continued cooperation and discussed the success of their work in the areas of “Afghanistan, Iran sanctions, the 123 Agreement, issues related to the WTO, and the situation in Kyrgyzstan."

The leaders pledged a continued partnership in the New Year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio