Medvedev hopes for improvement in Russia-US relations under Obama

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Moscow, Nov 5 (UNI) President Dmitry Medvedev today expressed the hope that the US administration under President-elect Barack Hussain Obama will take measures to better the badly damaged US relations with Russia.

In his maiden address as President at the joint session of Parliament in the Kremlin, Mr Medvedev said Russia hopes Mr Obama's administration would ''make a choice in favour of full-fledged relations with Russia.'' Russia-US ties have been increasingly tense and were driven to a post-Cold War low by the Russia-Georgia conflict, over the breakaway region of South Ossetia, in August.

Mr Medvedev accused Washington for the conflict, saying the August war over Georgia's rebel South Ossetia region was the result of ''conceited'' US foreign policy.

He also vowed that Russia ''would not retreat in the Caucasus.'' He warned that Russia would take steps in response to the bringing of NATO warships to the Black Sea and the accelerated deployment of the US missile defence system in Europe.

''The conflict in the Caucasus was used as a pretext for bringing NATO warships to the Black Sea and later for speedily imposing US missile defence systems on Europe, which will result in Russia's retaliatory measures,'' Mr Medvedev said.

''The Georgian army's attack on the Russian peacekeepers resulted in a tragedy for thousands of people and whole nations,'' he said.

''This provocation has dramatically increased tensions in the entire Caucasus region,'' he said.

UNI XC SKB CS1657

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