Medvede promises to strengthen Russia-US relations

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Moscow, Feb 15 (UNI) Russia and the United States are predestined for cooperation ''whatever the disposition of their leaders'', Russian presidential candidate, First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, said today.

''I, certainly, as private person and as a presidential candidate, have my own ideas about candidates participating in the US primaries, '' he said adding it was important for the US and Russia to cooperate, whatever was the disposition of their leaders. ''And if previously we would separate each other by the wall, even then there was cooperation - a difficult form of it, which sometimes would reach the level of either cold or hot standoff, but which nevertheless continued,'' Russian agencies quoted him as saying in Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.

In today's global world, the two countries shared the same set of values and the cooperation should continue, Mr Medvedev, who is backed by incumbent President Vladimir Putin, stressed.

The Russian-US relations did not only stand on a common ground, but had differed on various issues recently, he said, adding there was nothing fatal about it, but should certainly be taken into account.

There were many more subjects that required joint efforts, including such issues as anti-terrorist cooperation, the fight against the drugs threat, responses to global economic challenges, financial crises, energy problems and climate change.

''Whoever becomes a leader in the US or in Russia, these issue will remain under the closest scrutiny,'' he said.

Earlier, in a major economic policy speech at Krasnoyarsk economic forum, he said reducing the economic role of the state was among his priorities.

He also said he would tackle corruption if elected. Elections are scheduled for March 2.

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