From Sunlen Miller:
President Obama is scheduled to host Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today at the White House. The two leaders will meet privately in the morning for a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office, and then will have an expanded bilateral in the Cabinet Room, the White House said.
After lunch, the two are expected to take questions at a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House.
In the afternoon, both presidents are scheduled to attend the U.S.–Russia Business Summit at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The White House said the day’s agenda will not focus entirely on political and security issues, but will represent the “normalization” of the relationship between Russia and the United States.
“Both presidents feel strongly that there’s great potential in the U.S. and Russia relationship that extends beyond some of these flashpoint issue,” Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication Ben Rhodes said. “And that’s why the two of them have decided to underscore the potential of deepening the economic relationship between the United States and Russia, including a focus on areas of cooperation related to investment innovation.”
The Russian President’s two-day visit to the United States comes at a time when “we’ve closed some accounts,” and because there is less need is to focus on a lot of the security issues of years past, the two can look at a broader agenda, he said.
Mike McFaul, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia and Central Asian Affairs, said the agenda is a demonstration that the rhetoric and symbolism of the “reset” is being translated into actions.
“We now hope to develop relations among other dimensions, among new dimensions, in the relationship. President Obama also said this at the very beginning. He does not want the U.S.-Russian relationship to be just about arms control,” McFaul said. “we’re going to really dig in deeper to a lot of these other dimensions.”
– Sunlen Miller